In Review: Robyn Hood: Outlaw #3

A quality comic in every possible way.

The covers: There are a lucky thirteen different covers to seek out if, even if you have to go Underground to find them. The A cover is by Martin Coccolo and Mohan Sivakami and is a powerful image of Robyn in a deserted subway nocking an arrow. She looks fantastic and the coloring is outstanding. This definitely deserved to be the A cover. Next is the B by Sheldon Goh and Grostieta with the title character in the exact opposite location: a metal hallway dodging laser blasts and bullets from every direction. She’s lucky to be able to release one arrow to take out one of the guns blasting at her. She’s captured beautifully in action and the colors make this really exciting, with pink laser beams creating a web of death around her. The C cover is an absolute stunner by Hedwin Zaldivar, who’s frequently the colorist for many Zenescope titles. With this cover he deserves to be drawing just as often. Robyn strikes a pose atop a building during a gorgeous sunset. Her green costume stands out brilliantly against a pink and violet sky. This is print, poster, and tee shirt worthy. The final cover is the D by Anthony Spray and Juan Manuel Rodriguez which focuses on the last thing a bad guy would see if tangling with this archer. Shown from the recipient’s point of view, Robyn is coming down from the ceiling attached to a rope. She’s let loose a shaft of death which is right in the reader’s face as she continues her drop. Great point of view, love the character’s pose, and the colors make the reader focus first on Robyn then the tip of the arrow. Excellent job. The Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo Exclusive (limited to 350 copies) by Dawn McTeigue I was fortunate to find online. This has Robyn in a white top with the long sleeves pushed up, as well as the middle pulled up. On the back of the top is the Zenescope logo. She has on short blue jean shots, a cowboy hat, matching cowboy boots, brown leather gloves, and a green bandana around her neck. She’s leaning on a red tractor with her back to the reader. There’s a bull’s skull and horns tied atop the vehicle, with hockey sticks under it like bones. It’s a cute cover and one worth tracking down if you can. But let’s be honest, one could say this about anything done by McTeigue. There are also seven other exclusive covers, but I couldn’t find them online. They include the Mega Con Exclusive (limited to 350) by Keith Garvey, the Quarterly Exclusive (250) by Sabine Rich, the VIP Exclusive (75) by Rich, the Zenescope Exclusive (50) also by Rich, the Phoenix Fan Fusion Cosplay Exclusives (250/100) by Mike DeBalfo and Ula Mos, and the VIP Exclusive (350) Paul Green. Good luck, collectors! Overall grades: A A, B A, C A+, D A, and Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo Exclusive A+

The story: Dave Franchini and Howard Mackie concocted this tale, with Mackie writing it. The streets of New York are shown before quickly going beneath them to the Underground, ” A network of criminals — some with skills and powers beyond the ken of those who move on the streets above — live the shadows away from prying eyes and the reach of the police.” Inside a metal shipping container Robyn sits. “Somone…is going to…die for this,” she says to the wall. The doors open and Tatter is there, the young woman who brought her below. The hero quickly pins her to the wall, holding an arrow to her chin: she’s not happy that her bow and quiver were taken. Both objects are thrown to the floor by the massive Gynt. He’s holding her bow. He returns the weapon when she says something he finds amusing. Gynt tells her she can’t join their community until she retrieves one of their inhabitants, and Tatter is going with her. That’s the start for this issue that leads to Robyn rescue someone who probably could have gotten free on her own. It’s a good opportunity to see Robyn’s skills on display and how she takes down criminals. Once the hostage is cut loose, she cuts loose, and things become electric. Before all this action there’s a quick appearance by a supporting character from another Zenescope series who may be giving Robyn a major clue as to who’s responsible for putting her on the run. This was a solid issue with Robyn having some great lines, good motivation, and plenty of action. Overall grade: A

The art: Babisu Korutis’s art impresses me. It’s rare these days to see backgrounds so lush and Korutis does that exceedingly well. Take a look at the first two panels which move the reader between two locations like a film director before introducing Robyn in an unlikely location. Robyn’s lunge at Tatter looks good and I love the reactions by the smaller woman on Page 3. Gynt’s entrance is great because his size swallows up the background, instantly showing the reader his strength. Though only two panels, the walk through the Underground establishes it as a rich location. Gynt’s slight turn of his head and smile is a terrific character moment. Gynt’s quarters are very different from those outside, something like a cross between a mob boss and James Bond villain. I love the visuals of what Tatter is doing while in there. The “A Short Time Later…” page has some outstanding visuals, with one character dominating another and a great backward silent glance that speaks volumes. The character from another series that speaks with Robyn looks outstanding; this is the best I’ve seen this character look in a long time. The exterior and interior of Robyn and Tatter’s goal looks great. I absolutely loved the introduction of the individual speaking to the hostage — he’s fantastic! When noises occur in the dark, the movements of the antagonists as they look about are very realistic, and I love the close-up of the hostage as she speaks two words. The action that follows is really well done; sometimes fights are difficult to follow, but not this one. It’s brilliant! When the hostage is freed, what this individual can do is made very clear and it’s impressive. After all of this individual’s violence what she does to Robyn is great, as is the hero’s response. The final page is a full-paged splash introducing several new characters and I can’t wait to see what Korutis gets to do with them in the next installment. Overall grade: A

The colors: Juan Manuel Rodriguez also does strong work on this issue. Notice how colors influence the reader’s opinion of the locales on the opening page: the streets have oranges for lights and blue moon, Underground is composed of browns and rusts, while Robyn sits in a dark container that’s colored green to highlight her color scheme. Very clever work. Tatter’s entrance is in blood red and this red is eclipsed by the arrival of Gynt. The colors in his residence are like that of a millionaire’s: wood brown, ivory, and metal. The individual that Robyn speaks to on the phone is surrounded by a gold yellow border that gives him a higher standing than the hero. The coloring on the characters at the climatic setting is perfect, starting with the pair at the bottom of Page 14. The sounds are punctuated by bright colors throughout, with yellow used most often to pop. The reds used for blood increase the graphic nature of the fight. However, it’s the use of blues and whites on the final pages that will probably be most memorable for readers. An outstanding job by Rodriguez throughout. Overall grade: A

The letters: Taylor Esposito of Ghost Glyph Studios does the text of this issue, creating scene settings, narration and transmissions (the same font), whispered dialogue, dialogue, sounds, and the three word tease for next issue. Esposito has created a fantastic font for scene settings, with the letters leaning to the right — which leads into the panel — and putting an arrow underneath it; it’s like the reader is shot into each new location. I have no problem with the narration and transmissions being the same font as neither is on the page at the same time. The whispered dialogue pulls the reader more closely into the story and is used as neat asides. The sounds are great, with those during the battle very cool. Heck, even the last three words that tease the next installment are awesome. I love Esposito’s work. Overall grade: A 

The final line: Perfect comic book reading: the hero gets to demonstrate her skills, a task is required, a new location shown, and several new characters are introduced. The story is told exceptionally smoothly, with every panel logically leading to the next. There’s lots of action and the characters are outstanding. And the visuals — WOW! I’m loving the art and the colors on this book and am already sad this story is only six issues long. Even the letters are engaging, with sweeping scene settings and powerful sounds. A quality comic in every possible way. 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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