In Review: Robyn Hood: Outlaw #6

The saga of Robyn Hood continues to be one worth following.

The covers: There are a massive sixteen covers to collect as this outlaw’s saga comes to a conclusion. The A cover is by Michael Sta. Maria and Ivan Nunes. A full figure of Robyn stands in the center of this illustration, her weight shifted to her right and the arrow pointed at the reader. Behind her is the monstrous visage of Gynt who has his hands on either side of her to grasp her. She is in full colors and he is in crimson. This looks great! It looks as if Robyn is going to take that massive villain down on the B cover by Sheldon Goh and Sanju Nivangune. She’s on his back with a foot on his shoulder allowing her to keep her bow taught on his neck which he’s struggling to remove. She is awesome and he looks to be in utter agony. Great action image with excellent colors. The C frontpiece by Jason Cardy has a very Manga feel with Robyn shown from the knees up in a tunnel. The reader is looking down at her as she has her bow on her shoulders. In the distance a shadow of a large individual with a clawed hand can be seen. She looks great and the colors are stellar on this, with the pinks and greens incredible. The final regular cover is the D by Martin Coccolo and Mohan Sivakami. This is a very different cover because Robyn is barely on it. She’s in the lower right corner with her back to the reader. She’s kneeling before Gynt who towers over her. He’s got two goons to his left and one to his right, all with guns on the hero. The background shows that this scene is taking place in a back alley. Neat, but I would rather see a much clearer image of the characters. There are also twelve exclusive covers to collect, but sadly I could not find images of them online. They include the Fan Expo Boston Exclusive (limited to 350 copies) by Paul Green and Ula Mos, the New York Comic Con Exclusives (limited to 50/50) by Keith Garvey, the Kickstarter Blank Sketch Exclusive, the Kickstarter Exclusive (200) by Mike Krome and Mos, the Kickstarter Exclusive by Krome, the Kickstarter Exclusive (200/125/75/50) by Green and Mos, the Kickstarter Exclusive by Jason Cardy. and the Kickstarter Spot Art Sketch Exclusive (250) by Green. Good luck, collectors! Overall grades: A A, B B+, C A+, and D C

The story: What isn’t in this conclusion? Wow! This is great! Dave Franchini and Howard Mackie, with Mackie writing the script, close this series out in great fashion. The book opens with Robyn and Watts, Goldrush, Golem, and Matter looking at the monstrous wooden creature holding Tatter and Synapse in its hands. Robyn has an arrow nocked to shoot at the monster, but Watts tells her not to because she might hit their allies. I love Robyn’s response, “Have you met me? I only hit what I’m aiming at.” She takes the shot and hits the hand that’s holding Synapse, allowing her to make her move. She touches the villain’s head sending it into mental disarray. They are able to get past this antagonist and continue on their journey to find and kill the Spriggan. Meanwhile in New York the election is over, with the expected result, though what happens in the last three panels on 7 are not. These panels are setting up tons of trouble for Robyn in future series. Back underground there’s a split among the group when Robyn finally learns their true purpose. Before violence can occur, one person makes a hasty retreat, allowing three characters to learn what’s going on from the source. Page 18 has the final conflict begin and it’s outstanding. Characters end up in different states of distress or death, with the fate of one individual on 21 outstanding. And I freely admit that the last four panels on that page had to go that way, but I’m still upset that they did; I had grown very fond of that character. Page 23 continues to foreshadow troubles for Robyn and her allies, but the final page has a quick change up that’s stellar. I need the continuation of Robyn’s saga now! Overall grade: A

The art: Babisu Kourtis does some really strong figure work in this finale. The book opens with a full-paged splash that has the monstrous dryad from the back looking down upon the very tiny team of heroes. It’s a smart way to instantly tell the reader the scale of difficulty for the group. I’ve always liked characters with mohawks thanks to Paul Smith’s run on The Uncanny X-Men, so I really like Watts and she’s got a really strong introduction on the second page. Robyn’s demeanor as she’s shown in close-up at the bottom of this page is a perfect match for her dialogue. The fall in the first panel on Page 5 is great. I love that the other character at the bottom of 7 is not revealed to the reader. It only whets my anticipation for a reveal in a later series. The close-up that starts 8 is perfect, as is the panel that follows showing the different faces of this verbal sparring. The character who powers up at the beginning of 10 is terrific and truly looks all-powerful for the remainder of the issue. The energy unleashed at the bottom of this page is great. It’s just me, I know, but the Spriggan reminds me of George Lucas during the 90’s. It didn’t bother me seeing this character drawn like this, but it was my default reaction every time he was shown. The Spriggan’s setting is awesome — vast, monstrous, and detailed. Korutis really went the extra mile on this locale. The flames around a character on 14 are outstanding and the two panels that pull into this person on 15 make this individual an outstanding monster. The climax has got excellent energy, bodies flying every which way, so much flame work, and just flat out cool panels, such as the first two on Page 20. Those final four panels on 21 broke my heart when combined with the dialogue. The use of shadows on a character’s face on the penultimate page are a great way to show her true self. I love the entrance on this page and the first panel on 24. I would love to see Kourtis return to illustrating Robyn’s adventures. Overall grade: A

The colors: This book is set underground, in enclosed spaces, or at night. Juan Manuel Rodriguez does a great job in creating dark environments without losing any of Kourtis’s visuals. His work on Golem’s skin and that of the giant dryad adds considerable depth to the visuals. The shading of character’s flesh also is good, making them seem more real. I love that sounds are given colors to make them pop in action sequences, with Watts’s colors being cool. The Spriggan’s residence is colored just as one would expect it and that made me so happy. The flames and Watts’s energy in the climax is bold and draws the reader’s focus every time they appear, as does the crimson that appears on 20 and 21. Overall grade: A

The letters: Taylor Esposito of Ghost Glyph Studios is responsible for this issue’s dialogue, sounds, dryad speech, yells, a brief chant, scene settings, and the six word conclusion. I love the sounds of this book, with them perfect matches for the actions. My favorites are THOK, FRZZAAT, and KTASH. I love when outrageous characters have their own unique font to speak and the dryad on the opening pages has a font that matches his wooden nature. The yells punch up characters’ emotions. The brief crowd chant shows the reader how unified a large group is. The scene settings are aces and should be used in other Hood books. Esposito is doing great work on this book. Overall grade: A

The final line: A smashing conclusion that features a major battle and some unexpected deaths. I was happy to see a majority of characters survive to threaten Robyn again in a later series. The visuals are good, with the character work particularly strong. The final page is a direct lead-in to the next series and it cannot come soon enough for me. The saga of Robyn Hood continues to be one worth following. 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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