50 days in a row. I can’t believe it. I really can’t. I thought that somewhere along the line I would falter, miss a day, than before I realized it I would have forgotten about the reviews. But here we are. 50 days and counting.
I had to think about what I wanted to read for this review. For the longest time I debated about finding a well known comic that had a famous issue at issue 50 but then I talked myself out of it. The joy I’ve had doing this has been discovering stories I may not have chosen if I were in a comic shop. So with that in mind, thanks to Comic Blitz, I decided to give Robyn Hood a try.
Apparently this should be considered volume two. Seems Robyn Hood had been taken to a mystical land called Myst and met a witch named Marion. After their adventures Robyn heads back to New York with Marion in order to start a new life as a private detective.
Reading this comic I was reminded of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. That’s not a bad thing. While this story is very much its own story the homage to other stories is certainly there and helps someone like me who is diving into this universe for the first time to actually enjoy everything that is going on.
Masterfully, they dealt with backstory in a great way. While they touched upon it, the backstory of Robyn and Marion was never crucial to the story at hand. The writer knew that not everyone even knew there was another comic this story came from and wrote it as if it were the first time anyone ever read it which I really liked. Too often writers want to assume that you’re in on everything that is happening and forget to clue in new readers as to what is going on. I applaud the writers of this comic for their skillful use of backstory.
One issue I had occurred near the end of the story. Once Robyn and Marion realized that the person they were looking for was called The Priest, their client Sam calls and tells them she is trapped in a building with stained glass. They’d already established by this point that Robyn and Marion were standing in front of a church so it was quite convenient that two bits of info magically appear that leads them to a building that is right behind them. That was way too convenient to take seriously. That didn’t even give us the courtesy of acknowledging how convenient is was through the dialogue. They just ran into the church and started investigating.
The artwork was pretty solid. While it will not be something that will be studied hundreds of years from now examining the history of comic books, it serves its purpose. The locations feel real which is one complaint I really hate in other comics. After reading a bit about the history of comics from a great book called Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud, I discovered that I do relate most to the comic format that Jack Kirby helped establish. Characters have to be realistic enough and the action has to happen around every corner. While there are other forms of art out there that are quite enjoyable, such as the work from Nick Marino and the Holy F*ck miniseries, like in music it is best for people to stick with the basics before they decide to do something different. This story is a traditional superhero story. To be abstract with the art or story would do it a disservice.
This was a pretty good comic. While honestly I have to say that the back story is not something I would probably be interested in, this issue came across like a nice hybrid of fantasy and realism. Just like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. The great thing about those shows is that despite every fantastical thing that went on in the story, at its core it was about the relationship the characters had with each other. If that personal connection wasn’t there, you’d just have a bunch of talking heads yapping on for no reason and action pieces happening to people you don’t care about for reasons you don’t care about. Much like the Star Wars prequel movies. (Honestly, when it comes to the prequels I don’t hate them. But to dismiss the honest criticism that is out there would be foolish. They could have been so much better than they were. It just goes to show that movies cannot be a solo endeavor. You have to collaborate.)
This story interested me enough to want to know more. Much like Brian Bendis and his work on Ultimate Spider-Man, this issue tells a self contained story that on the last page gives you a hook to want to come back for more. This was well done and something I recommend. I give the story a 7.
The art was pretty decent but at the end of the day was just serviceable. Nothing about it really stuck out as being amazing. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying the art here was bad. It was clean and told the story in the classic Kirby style which best suited this story. There was just nothing that really stuck out as being visually stunning. Maybe it was being so new to this universe that threw me off and will be something that will wear off with subsequent issues. One thing I did like was the depth in the settings. Once they were standing in front of the church you felt like you were really there. You felt that cold chill you get at night no matter what time of year it is. You could just smell the trees. For that alone I have to give the art an 8. When someone does something that well, even if it only on a couple pages, you reward them for their good work.