In Review: Robyn Hood: Outlaw #2

Tatter shows her abilities, a new location is revealed, and plenty of action make this a fun book.

The covers: There are ten covers to track down, if the police aren’t out to get you. The A cover is by Caanan White and Ivan Nunes has an incredible point of view: Robyn is on the side of a building, one foot momentarily giving her balance, as she pulls an arrow to get her further up. I love the cable winding around her. Seeing the two men in the alley, in the distance behind her — on the ground! — gives this a great sense of peril for the hero. Everything about the character is fantastic. The online version of the cover is much lighter than the printed version I picked up. I wish the physical copy of the book had been as bright as the digital; it’s much easier to see the details in the artwork. The B cover is a spectacular action scene from Harvey Tolibao and Grostieta that has Robyn leaping into a mob of fourteen heavily armored police officers. All she has is her bow and her fists, while they’ve all got their batons out. The hero stands out with her excellent colors, while the officers are like a throng of darkness with only their light green goggles and screaming pink faces standing out in their ocean of ebony. Leaving the background white really makes the officers stand out. This is an awesome action image. The cover I chose to accompany this review is the C by Sabine Rich. This features Robyn dead center, standing tall, pulling an arrow from the quiver on her back. The character looks sensational, with the coloring excellent. Again, the background is left white, making the reader wholly focus on the character. This is poster, print, and tee shirt worthy. There’s a lot of attitude on the D cover by Riveiro and Mohan Sivakami. Shown from within the crosshairs of a rifle, Robyn stands with her blood soaked hands open at her sides and a snarl on her face, telling the shooter there’s more if he wants it. I love when heroes are shown angered at what they’ve had to do to survive their attackers and this delivers that. The background is a great looking city at night, with the coloring a bronze orange, making it look akin to Hell. Robyn stands out in green and flesh, with the target a harsh red surrounded by black. Great idea for a cover carried out well. There are also six exclusive covers, but I couldn’t find images of them online. They include the Awesome Con Exclusive (Limited to 250 copies) by Paul Green and Ula Mos, the C2E2 Exclusives (limited to 250/100 copies) by Elias Chatzoudis, the C2E2 Foil Exclusive (limited to 75) by Chatzoudis, the Comics Elite Exclusive (limited to 500) by Mirka Andolfo, and the Subscription Pro Level Foil Exclusive (limited to 75) by Eric Basaldua. Good luck, collectors! Overall grades: A A, B A, C A+, and D A-

The story: This issue was concocted by Dave Franchini and Howard Mackie, with Mr. Mackie writing the story. This is an exciting opening as Robyn and her new friend (?) are plummeting off a building after her friend grabbed her and jumped. Before they hit the concrete, the ratty clothing this new character wears morphs into black tendrils that wrap the pair, transporting them into darkness. Their fall in pitch black is survivable. Robyn jumps up demanding to know what’s happened to them, prompting her new ally to say, “It’s just something I can do…This is my safe place. Excuse me…I’ve never brought anyone here with me. Turns out…it’s king of…exhausting.” And the young woman falls asleep. Two hours later she wakes up refreshed. Her name is Tatter, based on the clothing she wears. Grabbing a hold of the blackness, Tatter pulls it aside and the two emerge in the alley that should have marked their graves. Robyn gets on her bike with Tatter in tow. Where they go isn’t surprising, given who was hurt last issue. After a quick scene there, the pair are again pursued by the police. Tatter has a place they can hide, but there’s an obstacle Robyn has to overcome to be allowed entrance. The battle is good, with the solution interesting. The final page has Robyn in a new setting and I’m really looking forward to seeing who and what lives there. This was fun, with Tatter being a standout new character. Overall grade: A

The art: The book starts with a full-paged splash of the characters falling down a building. I like the point of view and the positioning of the bodies, with both individuals seen clearly, which has got to be tough to compose. The way Tatter’s ability wraps around her and Robyn looked like a spider’s legs grasping them. I hadn’t seen this type of image before in a comic, and given the overabundance of a certain symbiote from another publisher, I was happy to see this unique visual feat done this way. The size of the characters on the third page was a neat way to tease the enormity of where the twosome end up. The pose Tatter strikes when she states how she’s earned her name at the bottom of Page 5 is cute. The exit from the ebony locale on 6 is creative and unique; again, a bonus point to artist Babisu Kourtis for this. Robyn’s exit on 9 reminded me a caped crusader and it works for her. I’d love to see her leaving settings like this more often. The action of one of Robyn’s arrows on 11 is really good. It’s not often that Robyn shoots an arrow with a cable attached, so this was neat to see; plus it’s done exceptionally well. The officers’ reactions to it as it speeds by are also really good. The smile that ends 13 is pure Locksley; loved it! The transition to the new location on 14 and 15 is handled well, with Kourtis moving between the characters and the settings very well. The reaction at the bottom of 17 is good, with the character surprised, but not stunned. This is a good emotion to have on this character’s face. The obstacle that Robyn battles has a good design and the battle that takes place is good, with a back flip by Robyn outstanding. The sixth panel on Page 20 is a great close-up of Robyn as she’s realized something. The transformation at the top of 22 is odd, but that’s a minor nick in the overall look of the visuals. The final panel teases a new setting and I’m looking forward to seeing what Korutis will do in this location. Overall grade: A-

The colors: Juan Manuel Rodriguez from the get-go communicates well with his colors, giving the building that the characters are falling next to bright orange-yellows, identifying them as lit up at night. Robyn’s dialogue stands out with an intense red border as she swears. Black dominates within Tatter’s creation, allowing the characters to stand out. When Tatter wakes, four panels are given a yellow outline to have them pop in the darkness. When Tatter opens her sanctuary the colors make it a dramatic effect. The siren that greets Robyn and Tatter on 7 is in a neat red outline, filled in with pink, making it radiate in the dark street. The location on 8 and 9 are given cool blue-greens, reinforcing the night, but also the sterility of the place. Nicely done. The scenes around buildings that follow are pretty dark, though not too muddled due to brick walls given a lighter color, allowing the reader to focus on the characters. The coloring of the obstacle that Robyn battles underground is neat. It’s a mottled yellow with brown lines. Very cool. Note how the colors go bright in the panel on Page 20 when the title character makes a realization: a smart visual way to show she’s seen the light. The greens that surround the obstacle on 21 are a good way to make this character pop. Overall grade: A- 

The letters: One of the best letterers in the industry is Taylor Esposito of Ghost Glyph Studios who creates this issue’s yells, dialogue, sounds, whispered dialogue, and scene settings. The variety of yells that Esposito creates tells the reader how loud each utterance should be heard. The one that starts the book, Robyn’s exclamation, is outstanding. It’s a terrific visual way to open the book. Tatter’s response is comical for its size, in comparison, and how calmly she sounds to the reader compared to Robyn. The scene settings are really good: they’re in slim block letters, almost like an arrow shaft, leaning slightly to the right, visually leading the reader into the panel. Clever. Add to that each actually has an arrow going through them, pointing into the panel further manipulates the reader where to look. The sounds are great and not all are colored solid; some are outlines so that the art underneath can be seen, such as FWISH, FWAM, and THOMP.  You can’t go wrong with Esposito on a book. Overall grade: A

The final line: Tatter shows her abilities, a new location is revealed, and plenty of action make this a fun book. I really like Tatter and hope she stays an ally; I’d love to see her running around in other Zenescope books, encountering other characters. I like the obstacle that Robyn battles and hope to see more of this character. The new setting holds a lot of promise, with the potential for even more characters that are like Tatter. There’s a lot being built up in this entertaining read. 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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