My very first introduction to Robyn Hoos was this week in the pages of Grimm Fairy Tales Annual 2014, which is part of the Age of Darkness crossover event running through several of Zenescope’s titles presently. As a fan of the old folk stories of Robin Hood and his gang of Merrymen, this Zenescope’s Robyn Hood peeked my interest because the publisher had placed a female character in the main role and had done their own spin on the entire tale of the valiant Robin Hood fighting against the villainy of Guy of Gisbourne and the Sheriff of Nottingham.
I enjoyed the peek of Robyn in the GFT Annual, and I was eager to explore more, so I picked up this comic, Robyn Hood: Legend #1. A little searching on the internet tells me that this is just the latest mini-series in a long line for the character, but that certainly did not prevent me from enjoying either the story or the character since writer Pat Shand makes this a great entry point for a new reader like me, and the work by artist Larry Watts is really good too. If the rest of the Robyn Hood stories are anything like this, then I am eager to read more.
The story of Robyn Hood: Legend #1 is centered on Robyn Locksley, who was taken on a wild ride to the magical realm of Myst a couple years ago, where she established herself as a master archer and ended up saving the world and being a hero. she has been back for a while however and these days she goes about her work being a vigilante of sorts, even as she stops often to reminisce about her time in Myst and the friends she made there, as well as the enemies. But now, a new threat is rising in Myst and her old friends need her help again, so the question is whether she is going to rise to the challenge.
For a new reader like me, Robyn Hood: Legend #1 is a good entry-point to the character and to Myst, despite this being the first issue in the third series of the Robyn Hood trilogy. Writer Pat Shand gives a good amount of introduction to the character and to the world of Myst so that you never feel truly lost since there is a lot of backstory alluded to here. At the same time, he keeps the focus on the events of the present and what is happening with Robyn right now so it never feels overwhelming. In a way, it is good to start here since much of this issue deals with Robyn’s hopes and fears for her friends back in Myst, and the “glory days” she enjoyed there.
Plus, she has carried over a lot of baggage from those days, not to mention a few enemies, so when a mix of her friends and enemies come to Earth to seek her help, she can’t believe her eyes. All of it just serves to add to who she is and the kind of person that she wants to be. Pat Shand’s dialogue and narration are always on point here and he gives Robyn a good, unique voice that sets her apart from many of the other female characters of the Grimm-verse, characters such as Sela Mathers for example, another major hero like Robyn.
Reading this issue, and knowing that there are two more issues waiting to be read after this, I’m really excited to read more about Robyn since I enjoyed her portrayal here. The gender-bending of the classic hero Robin Hood seems to be handled nicely in the context of this particular setting, and it worked for me without a doubt.
Larry Watts is the penciller on this issue with Slamet Mujiono on the colours and Zenescope-regular Jim Cambpbell on the letters. Larry’s artwork is on the highly-impressive end of the scale all throughout this issue, though there a couple panels here and there where either the body language of the characters or their expressions are off, but I didn’t mind them so much. And Slamet’s warm colours infuse the story with a certain vibrancy that really speaks out and complement Larry’s pencils really well.
Onwards and upwards for more Robyn Hood after this!