In Review: Robyn Hood: The Hunt #1

Readers can't go wrong following Robyn.

The covers: Robyn is inside a futuristic looking locale, bolting down a corridor, pursued by two armored men with rifles on flying platforms. She looks spectacular, the hallway tech is cool, and the colors spectacular. This is a strong showing from Sean Chen and Ivan Nunes for the A cover. The B is by Riveiro and Jesse Heagy. Robyn is in a precarious position, chained, hanging upside down. A gloved hand emerges from the right with an injector, which is pressed to the heroine’s neck. Good tease of what’s to come. Again, Robyn looks great, with the work done on the chains really good. The colors are also strong, with her hair and the highlights on each link great. Meguro is responsible for the C cover and its quite the trippy cover. Robyn is staring at the reader, her hands bound before her. Behind her is a hexagon patterned wall, instantly giving the setting an alien feel. Several computer overlays on on the illustration, with her name and ID number over her chest. This gives the impression that she’s being scanned. A terrific idea for a cover carried out well. The D cover is full of details, brought to life by Mike Lilly and Hedwin Zaldivar. Robyn is being led through the prison, pulled along by a machine to which she’s tethered. Behind her are several of the monsters that she captured in Robyn Hood: I Love NY. They’re straining against their cells to get at her, as she realizes she’s in a world of trouble. The details are great and the colors well done. The Boston Comic Con Postcard Exclusive (limited to 250 copies), illustrated by Elias Chatzoudis, is definitely worth picking up. Robyn is dressed more like a pirate than a patriot, sitting on a ship’s railing, holding a teabag daintily in her hand. Behind her are two other ships with boxes of tea floating around them. Excellent cover. Overall grades: A A+, B A, C A, D A+, and Postcard Exclusive A

The story: When last seen in Robyn Hood: Tarot One-Shot, Robyn stepped through a mirror and wound up standing on cliff looking at floating mountains. This issue picks up at that moment with Robyn thinking, ‘We’re not in Kansas anymore…’ Turning behind her she spies metallic tiles, a sign that civilization exits, or at least once did. Walking on them, she walks through a laser barrier and five men with guns appear. The apparent leader, a bald man, points at her and bellows, “Take her down!” She nocks an arrow and replies, “Come and try.” She releases three shafts and disarms a man, but her bow is rendered useless by a bolo. Two men try to take her down, but a fist to one’s face and a broken left arm to another leave them out of action. The leader of the group produces a taser which incapacitates her. She’s taken to the Dungeon, a Highborn Initiative Facility, or as prisoner Zoë refers to it, “This is the finest super max prison dark ops could provide.” The story, conceived by Joe Brusha, and written by Latoya Morgan, quickly establish the premise and have Robyn meeting her chatty cellmate, the aforementioned Zoë, getting threatened by inmates she helped imprison, and face certain death in the cliffhanger. The warden of the prison is shown, but not named. The reason for Robyn’s confinement seems to be mistaken identity, but I”m sure it will turn out to be more than that. This issue sets up the premise, has some good action, and shows that Robyn is not a character that will be a pushover. Plus, there’s a cliffhanger that will leave more than the reader hanging. Overall grade: A

The art: One artist on this issue makes a considerable difference from the potpourri of illustrators and inkers that have done several Zenescope issues of late. It also helps that the artist for this issue is a good one, Salvatore Cuffari. The first page, which is a full-paged splash, shows the reader is in for a visual feast as Robyn looks at the beautiful landscape. It’s always neat to see an artist that can tell a story without words, and that happens in the fourth panel on Page 2 and 3. The action that occurs on 3 and 4 is solid, easy to follow, yet very dynamic. The second panel on Page 3 has Robyn looking incredibly tough as she nocks an arrow, and the panel that follows shows three arrows in flight. The taser attack on 4 is also good with Robyn’s reaction and the energy that’s coursing through her. The full-paged splash on 5 shows the heroine at the mercy of her captors and the look on her face is outstanding. There’s some nice layout on 6 that has Robyn nude, but done so without being exploitive. The reveal of the Dungeon on 7 is epic, but comes off as empty due to there being no other characters on the page but the two at the bottom. When some of the inmates are finally shown on 8 it’s sensational — each character is threatening. The warden’s entrance is a full-paged splash and it’s dramatic, but doesn’t clearly show the character to the reader, leaving one with a feeling of indifference because there’s no face to put on him. Zoë is a neat character, who looks friendly, but raises warning flags for Robyn. I like her introduction and the page in the commissary. Pages 12 – 15 have a quick skirmish that looks awesome because of the strong characters and the smooth choreography of the fight. The struggle at the end of the book is also good, with Robyn emoting well. I’m happy to see Cuffari on this book. Overall grade: A-

The colors: I like the story and art for this book, but I’m loving the colors. Leonardo Paciarotti shows his talent on the first page with a stunning page awash with beautiful greens, blues, and browns. The rainbow effect in the sky is fantastic. When Robyn steps into the forest the panels go green and so do the boarders, which increase the rural feeling of the book. When the leader of the men produces the taser there’s a terrific reflection on the barrel, with a stream of light leading the reader to Robyn’s shocked face (no pun intended). Inside the Dungeon the coloring goes a cool blue to emphasize the technology used to create the environment. The bars are composed of white energy and they have warmth and heat to them, telling the reader that they should not be crossed. When Robyn is attacked by some of the inmates, the floor is brown, giving the fight a primitive feel. When characters yell, their dialogue balloons are given an extra border which is colored a hot red to given them extra emphasis. Everything Paciarotti does on this book is gold. Overall grade: A+

The letters: One of the best letterers in the business, Taylor Espositio of Ghost Glyph Studios, creates narration, yells, dialogue, sounds, scene settings, an antagonist’s unique speech, screams, and the tease for next issue. The variety of yells show the many different levels that each character employs when raising their voice, especially when there’s a border around the balloon. The sounds during the fight sequences are great, and terribly fun to read aloud. My favorite contribution to the issue are the scene settings, which have a heavy tech flavor, but are perfectly suited for the setting. Espositio can do no wrong. Overall grade: A+

The final line: With Robyn in jail, the inmates and the guards don’t have a chance. Locksley’s character is strong and smart in this adventure and the visuals are great. If you’ve never read a Robyn Hood story before, this would be the perfect entry. If you’ve been reading Robyn’s adventures for a while, this will please you. Readers can’t go wrong following Robyn. 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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