In Review: Robyn Hood: I Love NY #12

A good conclusion to this series with a major change resulting for one character.

The covers: The conclusion of this series has six different covers for fans to find. The A cover is by Riveiro and Grostieta and is the one I’m using to accompany this review. Robyn is on the deck of ship making its way to the Statue of Liberty. She turns slightly to see the reader. She looks strong and beautiful and she holds her bow, ready for action. Great illustration, with the character and the background looking super and the coloring perfect. The B cover by Sami Kivela and Jorge Cortes shows villainous Alina Rose leaving Robyn victoriously, as the hero is on the ground, a pool of blood shaped like a skull surrounding her. Rose has a slight smile of pride that makes her exit awesome. Good image and good coloring. Mirka Andolfo and Arif Prianto are responsible for the C cover which shows Robyn far from New York. It’s a close-up of Robyn in the sun, wearing a lime colored bikini, her hands behind her head, sitting in a beach chair. She looks great. Andolfo has pulled in closely to the character and the colors instantly say summer.  There are a few issues with the D frontpiece by Larry Watts and Mohan Sivakami. There’s a lot of empty space around the title, as if Watts thought it would be much larger. Alina looks great, with the joy she’s feeling pouring out of her. Robyn is tied to a giant target, but her legs may leave the reader confused; first, she’s wearing camouflage pants that are partially blue that blend in too easily with the background, and, second, there’s a shadow from the leg she’s kicking out that looks like a third appendage. This could have been better. The Motor City Comic Con Postcard Exclusive cover is limited to 250 copies and is illustrated by Ale Garza and colored by Hedwin Zaldivar. This is a rocking cover with Robyn wearing a fashionable-for-clubbing half top, working as a DJ behind a turntable. She’s beautiful and the colors incredible, capturing the energy from creating dance music. I especially like the violet hue around her from the backlights. Outstanding! The final cover is by David Nakayama and it’s limited to 200 copies. It’s the Marines Exclusive cover, featuring Robyn wearing only some very short dark blue shorts and a Marines’ hat. Her back is to the reader, but she’s turning around to take a look. She’s using her left hand to cover one breast, while her right is holding the soldier’s sword. The background is a slightly lighter blue than her shorts and has Semper Fi all over it. Wow! Beautiful and worth chasing down. Overall grades: A A, B B+, C A-, D C+, Motor City Comic Con Postcard Exclusive A, and Marines Exclusive A 

The story: Joe Brusha and Lou Iovino close out this series with the appropriately titled “End Game.” Picking up from last issue’s battle, Robyn is awakened on a broken down dock by a passerby. She refuses the man’s assistance, instead going to a cab where the driver is stunned to have “her” in his car. On their way she tells the driver to pull over because a familiar apartment complex is on fire. She’s too late to help anyone. An officer, noticing her injuries, asks if she needs to get to the hospital. She states she has something to do: “The only think I can do. I’m going to end this.” An ally meets Robyn at the lair of some beaten foes, as the hero has repurposed the place. Her justification for doing so makes sense and she shares her plans for her final battle with Alina Rose with this individual. As she makes her way to the battle, her narration reminds the reader why this fight is occurring. This is smart thinking from Brusha and Iovino, as it’s been the motivating factor for this twelve issue series. The battle takes up nine pages and it’s an epic showdown. The battle is physical, with Robyn being the aggressor, wanting all the death and destruction from Alina to end. Just as the fight appears to have ended, someone appears on Page 18 to change things. This character’s appearance states that the future has been changed, for two characters, not one. This was very satisfying as it finally addresses something from Robyn’s past that’s been lingering since her first appearance. The final three pages are a nice coda, returning Robyn to the the world a few months after the action of the fight. Plus, the dialogue on the final page is the right tone to end these adventures. A good conclusion that launches Robyn free from the past. Overall grade: A   

The art: Three different artists close out this title, Sergio Ariño, Riveiro, and Daniel Mainé. The visuals start strongly with Robyn gaining consciousness on the dock. The old man that wakes her looks great. Her brief ride in the cab is also well done, culminating with the apartment on fire. The settings are amazing on Pages 2 and 3: they are highly detailed, even in small panels that don’t really need them, such as on Page 3. That said, having the settings being fully rendered makes the heartbreak of the fire more real, as the reader can’t avoid seeing the structure. When the story moves to Robyn’s new location, the visuals do seem to have changed: the characters aren’t as thin and the backgrounds, though detailed, aren’t as complex; case in point, the final panel on 5 shows the new location completely, but is shown from an angle that requires only basic geometry to execute. Page 7 is essentially a page that requires talking heads to communicate information, but the artist, whoever it is, moves the point of view around well, giving the characters some good emotions to accentuate what’s being said. It’s the quiet pages where an artist proves his or her mettle, and this page is strong. The battle has several fight scenes and goes through several locations. It’s very easy to follow, considering all the damage that occurs. The explosion at the top of 12 is outstanding: the character caught in the blast is posed perfectly and the debris and cloud work amazing. When the fight reaches its zenith there are some questionable choices: why would those “things” appear around Alina on 15 and 16 and then disappear? What purpose did they serve? In the third panel on 17 it’s difficult to see what’s happening. After spending a moment or two considering the image, I got what my takeaway was supposed to be, but a reader shouldn’t have to spend too much time trying to understand what’s happening during a rapid fight scene. The character that appears on 18 is terrific and I love how one character has to be supported by this individual. The final three pages return fully rendered backgrounds to the book, though the characters are really simple, looking as if the colorist had to add dimension to them with colors. They look fine, but do look different from earlier pages in this book. The art on this book is fine, but is jarring when a new artist takes over. I would have preferred the book be late with only one artist illustrating it. Overall grade: B 

The colors: Grostieta, Robby Bevard, Jorge Cortes are the colorists, but, as with the artists, there’s no notation in the book’s credits as to who is responsible for what pages. The book opens beautifully with an incredible sky. The choice of rose for the man’s shirt gives him an instantly warm and caring connotation, which Robyn needs at this moment. The colors on Page 2 have a great sense of heat due to the coloring in the last two panels. The new setting introduced on Page 4 is appropriately dim, since it is in a grungy setting and indoors, but the colorist wisely cheats, making the characters bright and the backgrounds bright enough for all aspects of the art to be seen. The explosion on 12 is gorgeous in its colors: seriously, everything about this panel is perfect and would be an image to pull to advertise a collection of this series. Reds are used to perfect effect on 18 and 19, with them casting a glow on other characters and the setting. Their use makes the final three pages particularly strong, because the coda of the issue shows a return to normalcy. The colorist on these pages really has his or her work cut out with the characters since they need a lot of highlights to give them dimension. The colors on this book look good. Overall grade: B+

The letters: Dialogue, scene settings, yells, the story’s title, the book’s credits, narration, sounds, screams, a beaten resignation, and the book’s final two words come to life through Taylor Esposito of Ghost Glyph Studios. The sounds on this book are perfect for the action sequences: they look like the actions that are occurring. I really like the THWIPs throughout the battle. The yell on 17 is fantastic; it delivers the intensity for the character and mirrors what the reader has been feeling for the previous eleven issues. The narration is a different font from that of dialogue, which is something I always like to see, and though it only occurs once, the beaten resignation from one character looks exactly how that character must sound. Esposito is aces. Overall grade: A

The final line: A good conclusion to this series with a major change resulting for one character. Having one artist on this book would have helped, but what’s done for the visuals is fine. 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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