In Review: Robyn Hood: The Curse #6

A solid conclusion with Toho inspired conflict.

The covers: A monstrous twelve different covers to collect for this closing cataclysmic issue. The A cover is by Riveiro and Ceci de la Cruz. This is a beautiful image of Robyn leaping high above the buildings of San Diego unleashing a shaft. She looks excellent, with her visage one of absolute joy in her ability. The city appears to be well rendered, but is difficult to confirm because a blur was used to create distance. Riveiro is an outstanding artist and I would have preferred to see his work in its original state. The colors by de la Cruz are also good, but that blur isn’t helping them either. Julius Abrera and Grostieta have created a dramatic B cover showing Robyn leaping into the open maw of the monstrous Quetzalcoatl. The point of view is from the hero’s back, increasing the scope of the vile creature. The colors on this is aces with the green features on the beast beautiful. The cover used for this review is the C by Derlis Santacruz and Ula Mos. This “Good Girl” frontpiece has Robyn coming out of the water with San Diego behind her. She’s wearing her uniform, showing this wasn’t an expected dip, but her expression shows it to be refreshing. Good illustration and solid colors on this. I like how the blue waters really make the greens and the flesh stand out. The final regular cover, the D, is by Harvey Tolibao and shows Quetzalcoatl and another creature battling one another. If one has been reading this series, this second monster has been teased for some time, but I won’t spoil it for new readers. This cover is brilliant with the art superior and the coloring phenomenal. Everything about this cover is outstanding. The Subscription Variant (limited to 75 copies) is by Igor Vitorino, but, sadly, I couldn’t find an image of this online, so good luck, collectors! The San Diego Comic Con Exclusive (limited to 500 and 75 copies) is by Derlis Santacruz with colors by Ula Mos is a cosplay cover. The 500 edition has a long raven haired woman shown from behind, turning to the reader, dressed in a white ninja outfit, complete with katana in her right hand. I thought she might be Electra, but she’s got a mask in her left, so I don’t know whom she is supposed to be. The background is very detailed, with her standing before one of the trains that goes by the entrance to the Gaslamp District in San Diego. I don’t know what the 75 copy edition entails, but it probably means less clothes. The San Diego Comic Con Exclusive (limited to 250 and 100 copies) is by Mike Krome with colors also by Mos. This frontpiece features a voluptuous blonde and raven haired beauty wearing violet bikinis on the beach. One woman has a volleyball under her arm and a net can be seen behind the pair. The beach is also shown and a light violet sky with SDCC written by a plane. Neat cover. The 250 has the women with tops, the 100 has them without. The San Diego Comic Con Exclusive (limited to 350 copies) is by Sabine Rich is also a cosplay cover and it’s terrific! This features Robyn dressed as Buzz Lightyear from the Toy Story saga. She’s got her wings up, and is standing before the iconic wallpaper in Andy’s room that featured a blue sky covered in clouds. This is beautiful, cute, and one to definitely track down. The 4th of July Exclusive (limited to 350) is by Santacruz and Sanju Nivangune and features a long haired brunette with a ponytail pulled in front of her. She’s wearing a bikini top that features the US flag and she has on cutoff blue jean shorts. She’s in front of a grill, holding a miniature US flag in her left hand and a barbecue fork in her right holding a sausage, with the grill to her side cooking up a ton of hot dogs. A decent cover, but nothing spectacular.  The final cover is the VIP 4th of July Exclusive (limited to 200) by Santacruz and Nivangune. I couldn’t find an image of this online, but I”m betting it involved fewer clothes on the girl. Overall grades: A A, B B, C A+, D A+, San Diego Comic Con (500) B, San Diego Comic Con Exclusive (250) A-, San Diego Comic Con Exclusive (100) A-, San Diego Comic Con Exclusive (350) A+, and 4th of July Exclusive C+

The story: Dressed like a Mayan high priest holding a bloody sacrificial blade, with the dead victim behind him, Villariagosa welcomes the gigantic serpent god Quetzalcoatl back to Earth. He says the world belongs to the deity and the reborn thanks the man in a unique way. Robyn distracts the creature by firing arrows at it while Marion rushes off to cast a spell to stop it. Complications arise two fold: the San Diego police arrive to try to take the beast down with bullets and possessed Sam finally makes the scene. I was happy to read Page 10 where writer Chuck Dixon has the characters in a conversation, albeit briefly, but I’ve wanted this moment for a while. The confrontation between Robyn and her opponent plays out as one would expect, with her dialogue being action hero appropriate. There’s a transition missing between Pages 13 and 14, but this could be due to the artist; it took a moment to realize who this character was. The ending is too abrupt for this series. True, the threat has been resolved, so this story is done, but I needed more — some type of coda. Still, my hat is off to Dixon because he left me wanting more. I would definitely want to see him return to these characters. Overall grade: B+

The art: Julius Abrera gets to create some solid action scenes, conflicts between individuals, and towering monsters terrorizing a city. The first page is a full-paged splash that excellently begins the issue showing Gerry in his ancient attire from Quetzalcoatl’s point of view. I like that the antagonist is holding the victim’s heart in his hand and the victim is  behind him, blocked by his headdress: this was an excellent way to remind the reader from the get-go that this is not a good man. This is very cool looking. The creature’s size is smartly established with an (almost) double-paged splash. The third panel on Page 4 is a must have moment and Abrera makes it look good. I was disappointed by the silhouette on 5; I wanted — needed — to see the character second guessing his decisions. I’m a fan of panels split to have the reader specifically focus on objects in the art and there’s a good one at the bottom of 6. The appearance of a character in the first panel on 8 is a good reveal. The action in the second panel on 12 is difficult to make out; the coloring could have helped this. I’m confused by the third panel on the same page: is this anger? I took it to mean the next target by the hero. There’s a transition missing between 12 and 13: I need to see more of the change because I didn’t identify the new combatant immediately. The two-paged image on 13 and 14 is good, with the character in the foreground outstanding. Page 16 only has one panel of text, allowing Abrera to clearly inform the reader the reader as to what’s happening solely through his art. What caused the bloodletting on the final panel on 18? It’s too delayed a visual action if it’s a result of the previous panel. The final panel of the book is a good image to end on, focusing on the survivors and the chaos. I would also welcome Abrera returning on any Zenescope title. Overall grade: B

The colors: The book’s tone is set from the first page due to the colors red and violet from Robby Bevard — This book is going to be a dark one. However, Bevard is skilled enough to know the creatures and characters must be seen by the reader, so he has these characters stand out against the nightmarish colors he opens with: Robyn’s greens and the reborn god’s sickly emeralds (and a fantastically illuminated violet eye) make them eye catchers. There’s a lot of fire in this issue and it is given perfect glowing yellows and oranges. The background color used on 14 and 15 should have been different from the new character that appears as it allows the individual to blend too easily into that color. The use of red on 16 and 17 is great. The blues and whites used for magic on 19 – 21 are also strong. Overall grade: A-

The letters: This issue’s text is from none other than Ghost Glyph Studio’s own Taylor Esposito who is responsible for the dialogue, yells, sounds, possessed Sam speech, transmissions, weakened speech, and the two word conclusion. The sounds are massive, absolutely befitting the monster mayhem, but it’s the repetition of POK that I loved. I also enjoyed possessed Sam’s speech which visually showed her to be not human. The weakened speech on the final page is another neat way the visuals of the lettering communicated understanding, in this case a character’s strength to the reader. Overall grade: A

The final line: A solid conclusion with Toho inspired conflict. The story goes as one would expect, but it ultimately ended too quickly, needing at least a page more to resolve more fully. The visuals are fine with some panels stronger than others. However, if one is a Hood fan, this will be satisfactory reading. Overall grade: B+

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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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