In Review: Robyn Hood: I Love NY #11

Robyn battles several foes as she battles her self-doubt. Highly entertaining.

The covers: Five to track down for the penultimate issue of this series. Robyn is up in a tree, with her hair and the leaves blowing about. She’s looks ready to release an arrow she has aimed at the reader. This is a solid close up of the heroine with no space wasted. Super job by Josh Burns on this A cover. The B is by Marc Rosete and Erick Arciniega. Alina Rose and Robyn are facing off in a park, with the antagonist giving a howl as she runs at the title character. Rose has an arrow nocked as she races forward and all Robyn can do is gasp at her speed. A good cover, with both characters looking good, with some impressive perspective on Robyn from Rosete, who draws her from a three quarters view turned away from the reader, though still making the character well seen. There’s also a complete setting on this cover. The colors are also top notch; the reflections on the characters’ costumes are particularly well done. Next up is the C cover which has Rose solo and looking absolutely evil. Mike Krome and Ceci de la Cruz have done a smashing job on the villainess atop a roof, complete with rain and lightning, looking smugly at her prey, who could only be Robyn. This is poster quality material, with the character’s pose perfection and the colors creating the stormy night, but allowing every inch of the art to be seen. The D comes courtesy of Abhishek Malsuni, Zsolt H. Garisa, and Shashank Mishra. Robyn is in the foreground of an alley, on her hands and knees, her weapons scattered before her. Rose is behind her, her arrow ready for release upon the heroine. This, too, is a strong cover, with both characters well rendered and with a complete setting. The colors are the darkest of any of this installment’s covers, but, again, all aspects of the art can be clearly seen. I really like the cool mist effect and the bright light next to the title from the colors. The final cover is by Jamie Tyndall and Stacy Raven, and it’s a Great Philadelphia Comic Con Exclusive. Dressed in a skin tight suit that resembles something worn by the Flash or one of his fellow speedsters, Robyn looks haughtily at the reader in her black outfit. On her chest is the Zenescope logo and behind her is a metallic circular shape containing a lightning bolt, with blue and white lightning leaping off it. Wow. No, really. Wow. Overall grades: All A 

The story: Robyn’s in the burnt out remains of the building that came down last issue and she’s feeling as low as the skeletal remains around her. She feels her life is worthless, and that’s when she encounters a homeless woman rummaging through the facility. The woman says, “Oh, baby, don’t fret. Certain things you can’t change. No one can. Just gotta accept ’em and live your life. Otherwise you’re just wastin’ your time.” This causes Robyn to realize, ‘No more dreaming. No more pretending to be something I’m not. From now on, I’m going to be exactly who I was supposed to be!’ The story then moves to four familiar underground monsters running through the sewers. They’re trying to escape someone that’s pursuing them. They make their way up a ladder to the surface, but not before one of their ilk is shot in the head. They ignore their dead companion, and climb out of the sewer and onto the streets of New York where chaos and carnage erupts. Lou Iovino, from a story by Joe Brusha, writes a lot into this issue’s twenty-two pages. The monsters aren’t the main heavies of the book, their pursuer is, and he’s a formidable foe. The action between he and Robyn is good, as I expected it to be, but the dialogue between the two is even better, with him pushing every button to set her off. His last barb is really twisted, and I appreciate a villain who’s as wicked with their words as they are with their fists. But this isn’t all there is for Robyn to encounter, as the one character that’s been looking for her finally gets to battle Locksley. It doesn’t go well for Robyn. This is a good ride from Brusha and Iovino, who make it seem that after the first three pages Robyn is going to be invincible. Surprise, she’ll have to work to beat her foes. Overall grade: A

The art: Sergio Arino, Renato Rei, and Riveiro are the artists responsible for this issue’s visuals. It’s not stated who’s responsible for which pages and that’s a major disappointment because I’d like to know whose work it is I’m looking at. The opening pages in the burnt out building have much detail in the scorched settings and Robyn looks really well drawn. On Page 3’s third panel an object is tilted slightly, giving the object a skewed look, matching the mental state of the character on it. The two pages that follow show the creatures on the run. They are designed well and look good in every panel. Their arrival on the surface has a very graphic, yet realistic, result of what would happen should someone try to stop their progress. Page 8 uses four uniformly sized panels to show Robyn’s search for the monsters; illustrating it in this format shows the monotony involved in gathering intelligence. Her battling the monsters is quick, but not easy. The panels become diagonal as the fighting becomes more frantic. The entrance of the antagonist on Page 12 is well done, echoing a panel from 4. The battle between this individual and Robyn is long, but very easy to follow, which shows the superb layout of the artist. The second antagonist’s scuffle with Robyn is also well done, with the backgrounds extremely detailed. The final two pages have Robyn in a terrible situation and the panels become very jagged, adding another visual element to the page that tells the reader the danger the heroine is in. It is easy to see where the division in artists occurs, but all three work well together to make this a book that reads smoothly. Overall grade: A

The colors: Matching the number of artists are three colorists on this issue: Grostieta, Jorge Cortes, and Federicio Blee. Unfortunately, as with the artists, there’s no listing in the credits as to who is responsible for what pages. The opening three pages should be dark, given that the setting is the burnt out structure, but the colorist wisely uses gray, rather than black, to give it a crispy interior. The grays allow Robyn and the homeless woman to stand out considerably in this locale. The monsters that begin Robyn’s initial woes have some neat reptile greens with outstanding streaks of white to show their muscles. When the first antagonist arrives, the backgrounds have a brilliant orange to highlight Robyn and her foe. Due to the highly rendered backgrounds when the second foe arrives, the colors are much darker. They are appropriate for the setting, but do make the characters blend in too much with them. The final two pages have Robyn in a different locale and these look good. Overall grade: B+

The letters: Narration, the story’s title, the book’s credits, dialogue, the monsters’ unique speech, sounds, yells, screams, scene settings, roars, and weakened speech come from the able hands of Taylor Esposito from Ghost Glyph Studios. A reader can always tell when they are dealing with an outstanding letterer when there is a differentiation between narration and dialogue. Having the monsters use a unique font for their speech further separates them from normal characters. The variation in yells is also really well done, with three shown on Page 19. Excellent work. Overall grade: A+ 

The final line: Robyn battles several foes as she battles her self-doubt. Jam packed story that’s a smooth read, accompanied by slick visuals. Highly entertaining. Overall grade: A

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Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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