Never try to hide … Robyn will always find you.
Writer: Ben Meares
Artwork: Babisu Kourtis
Colors: Juan Manuel Rodriguez
Letters: Taylor Esposito
What They Say:
After recent events Robyn has found herself on the other side of the law. Hunted and unwelcome both on the streets of the city she calls home, and by the family of outlaws she made in the Underground. Robyn is dealing with her new status quo the only way she knows how, with a fistful of questions and a bow full of arrows. Aimed at getting revenge on those who have turned her life upside down, she must seek out the answers to return things to the way they were or the closest thing to it by any means necessary.
Content (please note that portions of review may contain spoilers):
It hasn’t too long ago since Commissioner Gengrich was shot by a magically poisoned arrow and Robyn was blamed for the shooting, but now that she has been discharged from the hospital the hooded archer decides it is time to visit her injured companion, but then she runs into a problem of two suits guarding the building. While she may not be on friendly terms with the New York Police Department, these two sentries seem to be ones who will not listen to words and so a pair of tranquilizer arrows do the trick as a way past them to the interior. However as the overly exuberant blonde makes her way inside Julia’s apartment, the recovering policewoman is ready for the intrusion with a stern lecture as to this preferred method of entry and the necessity of pacifying her hired men. After an exchange playful banter, it does not take long for the women to address the true meaning behind their meeting – to discuss what she remembers before and after the attack plus any other information which may be pertinent in finding the true shooter.
As Locksley admires the gaudily mounted weapon that almost killed her now framed on the wall, Julia approaches with a remorseful look as she declares mistrusting the people who she once worked with, or more correctly they seem to have lost confidence in her. Although the new commission may believe this may have to do with mental trauma from surviving her attack, what Gengrich shows next only proves there may be something more sinister at work behind the scenes – falsified evidence from Robyn’s residence. However, it is the next file which may provide a new outlook on the doctored clues, with her friend remembering distinct details of the true shooter’s face and unique clothing style pointing to one man, a former KGB assassin now turned hired gun with the alias the Peacock. Although Robyn may mock such an audacious name, Julia warns to be wary since he is rumored to have as many as one thousand murders credited to his moniker with not one conviction thanks to witnesses also being silenced. And yet the most troubling piece of information within this folder is the killer’s location for tonight … but is this vigilante brave enough to face such an accomplished hitman alone?
While it is gratifying to see this series continue from where Robyn Hood: Outlaw left off, at the same time remnants of the prior title give the reader a sense of déjà vu as we must recollect what was told to bring details to a close. And yet as writer Ben Meares tries to make this telling of Robyn’s adventures his own, there is a necessity to the staleness in these flashbacks to welcome new readers, but they also burden the loyal since those intimate with the past must wade through familiarities in order to emerge from this long tunnel until we emerge into the light of new wonders. However when this brilliance is finally seen, one cannot but be troubled to see old foes celebrating as favored friends were left behind after the disastrous end of the previous series, allowing villains to survive as a courageous hero sacrificed herself to stop their evil; I wish Meares could have added some touching remark remembering Tatter in Locksley’s monologue, but at the same time one can understand why he did not since it would be out of character to become sentimental about a friend, and instead allow actions to speak for her words. And with this thought we are given something rewarding as our favorite archer launches into crashing the party, seeking a bit of physical revenge for the torment these cowardly remnants put their comrades through all for greed. The audience cannot but feel satisfaction to see Robyn burst through and spoil their current plans, even as she knows the numbers are against her but it is her cockiness and self-assuredness which makes her so appealing and remind us she will make it out alive to see justice served in her own way.
As spontaneity grips the audience from the display of a new storyline, it is encouraging to witness the same artistic team from the last book also grace this title with their spectacular visual techniques, and yet there are times when those same skills are lacking. One cannot but stare in awe as to the excellence of Babisu Kourtis’ sharp lines and clean environments which creates a setting that promotes excitement and when you add Juan Manuel Rodriguez’s subdued dark shadows which so elegantly grasp those defined figures and emphasize each sinewy limb it elevates their synergistic collaboration to a new level. You cannot but stare in awe with the elaborate opening page, watching as Robyn stalks her prey like a lioness with white teeth and eyes burning in the night to witness two clueless men while she takes careful aim, almost allowing the reader to hear her muscles strain against the tension of the bowstring. The shock of being struck from some unknown sniper can be seen from his expression, lines of pain etched into his face with such powerful ambiance the struggle to stay awake is tenuous and mounting as the other falls. However, once Locksley enters the well-lit hallway, this is where the audience experiences a problem with Rodriguez’s choice of colors – they become washed out especially on the actresses’ faces, almost as if some off-screen spotlight is too bright and shining against makeup to dull any details such as cheekbones to become nondescript. This happens only upon the visages of the cast and nothing else within the scene, which remains subtly shaded so as to define each element and yet there are times when their skin also appears pale in comparison and appearing sickly for such healthy individuals. Although one can overlook such glaring faults as chance occurrences, with the striking decoration of Gynt’s gathering sincerely making up for any disappointment as Robyn bursts into the party, allowing Kourtis to dazzle the reader with so many breathtaking details you cannot but be stunned for his attention to detail, such as the faces of our archer’s victims reflected the shards of glass. The excitement and death-defying stakes of uninhibited action are once again marvelously outmatched by our imagination, with images and colors brought to life via Robyn’s primal struggle and making us wonder how such brilliant visual entertainment can be so thrillingly contained within a restrictive medium.
Robyn Hood: Vigilante may begin as a continuation of the prior title but once the details have been contained within a literary creative segue, the premier takes our hand and does not let go with excitement which propels the reader against a breakneck pace. And thanks to fantastic artwork that amplifies the magnitude of Robyn’s strength plus a few hiccups within oddly selected coloring moments, this series is sure to engulf us within a struggle that will be memorable in so many ways. All we need do is wait for the next issue to forget a clumsy beginning and hold our collective breath to witness what will surely become a prime example of our favorite archer’s quest for justice.
Rating: T (Teen)
Released By: Zenescope
Release Date: November 13, 2019