GFT: Robyn Hood Legend #4
Writer: Pat Shand
Artwork: Larry Watts
Colors: Slamet Mujiono
Letters: Jim Campbell
Editor: Pat Shand
Reviewed by Paul Terry From the BKPlayground.net
We all know who Zenescope are, they publish, among other things, the Grimm Fairy Tales series of comics, Wonderland, Neverland, etc… you know, the ones with the covers showing extremely attractive looking women wearing tight and/or revealing clothes that we can’t help but notice on the shelf each week but daren’t actually buy for fear of being branded pervert.
Their image is actually a shame for Zenescope because I like their ideas a lot, I’ve read the Wonderland series and I like the dark twist they put on established fiction and fairy tales, a lot of their books look interesting to me as a reader but even I hesitate to buy what looks like a porn parody where the characters wear ludicrously revealing clothing and most of the panels are gratuitous arse or boob shots.
Having said that, to be fair, most of Zenescope’s books aren’t like that, the cover art just gives that impression, and Robyn Hood is thankfully one of their series that focuses more on the character than her assets. This book is the fourth issue of the third volume in the Robyn Hood saga so for those wanting to learn the origin of the character you’ll need to visit volume 1, but essentially Robyn Locksley is confident young woman who finds herself transported to the Zenescope universe, however rather than adopting a whiny damsel in distress attitude she proves to be a no-nonsense and capable hero.
This book continues the story of Robyn and her band of merry men as they fight the Sheriff Of Nottingham, a being of magic and malevolence created by Sir Guy Of Gisbourne, and as you would expect from a penultimate issue in any storyline we have a substantial amount of action with an “oh shit!” cliffhanger at the end.
Pat Shand does a good job of writing characters that are easy to like, dialogue flows well, the story moves along at a decent pace and all this is complemented well by the art of Larry Watts, who deserves credit for the facial expressions drawn onto certain characters at key moments that really help to reinforce the emotion in Shand’s dialogue.
However, and while trying not to spoil any part of the story, I do feel that Watts could have been more ambitious with certain panels where large scale action is called for. The characters involved aren’t particularly animated considering they should be in a life threatening fight and better choreography could have given a critical set piece of the story a WOW factor rather than the more functional sequence we actually have. To be fair though, the sedate action could be how it was written by Shand and I get the impression that everyone involved with this book has the potential to elevate it to something better if they could just polish the book a little harder.
Having said that, Robyn Hood is one of the better Zenescope titles, I’ve read worse stories and seen worse artwork in books published by Marvel and DC so don’t be put off trying it out – it delivers what we’ve come to expect from Zenescope, decent artwork, decent story and although you’ll enjoy reading the book it will be soon forgotten, probably never to be read again, but you’ll probably want to pick up the next issue regardless.
I’ll give Robyn Hood “3 Pops” – Entertains but doesn’t wow.
Remember comics are to be enjoyed. Not destroyed.