True heroes never give up … no matter what the odds.
Writer: Ben Meares
Artwork: Babisu Kourtis
Colors: Juan Manuel Rodriguez
Letters: Taylor Esposito
What They Say:
Robyn, Lt. Boone and the residents of the Underground test the strength of their uneasy alliance when they work together to storm the Vigilante Hunter Squad robot factory. But once inside, they come to realize the robots are the least of their worries. All of the enemies Robyn has been battling over the course of this series – and some brand-new, even more terrifying enemies – converge to put a stop to Robyn Hood’s mission once and for all. Robyn will pull out all the stops to defeat this onslaught of villains – but will it be enough?
Content (please note that portions of review may contain spoilers):
After Lieutenant Boone and his men of the Vigilante Hunter Squad saw how their robotic enforcers were no longer follow orders, they are now determined to put a stop to these out of control automatons by leading their new allies to the manufacturing facility. However with only nine against an army of seemingly endless machines, the odds of them surviving seem rather desperate, especially when you consider each mechanical menace learns and adapts from prior encounters, adding to the difficulty of defeating later models. And yet as they boldly stride into the confines of this den of unfeeling contrivances, Robyn, Emmett, Gynt and her adversaries from the Underground are confident in their ability to defeat any who stand in their way. With multiple arrows flying toward their targets, Golem smashing anything metal in his way, and other powers striking all they considered enemies, it appeared they were making progress until Locksley spotted something unusual within this robotics factory – a lone woman wearing a gaudy dress and sporting a long, flowing crimson cape, something one would not expect for an environment such as this.
It was only after seeing this woman wielding magic to power up the assembly line did she know something was wrong, especially after the mystical boost caused the production of robots to accelerate, thus impending their apparent victory to draw farther away with every defeat. Leaving Emmett take up the extra slack, Robyn gladly began her pursuit against someone far too familiar for our heroine to ignore, for she had missed battling against mystical abilities, and quite honestly she missed it. However upon confronting this overly dressed villainess behind the scenes, Locksley was disappointed when she demanded answers, with no plausible explanation issuing forth until a mocking voice crackled from silence upon the monitor behind them – it was Mayor Nyguen. But before the archer could demand any clarification, this callously deceptive politician revealed her supposed collaborator in finding justice for New York City, Robyn’s only true friend – Julia. And yet when the former police commissioner was brought forth and asked pointedly what they should do about this vigilante, her eyes became blank and cold as she uttered words too painful to hear: Kill Robyn Hood.
At the conclusion of this memorable series, I was honestly a bit unsatisfied by writer Ben Meares effort to create a captivating tale for Robyn Hood, with the narrative leaving too many plot holes unanswered plus the true motivation for Mayor Nyguen’s obsession against our blonde archer yet to be revealed aside from the obvious getting in her way cliché. Although I truly wanted to like this title, the foundation of the story was a bit too hollow since Lisette never unveils her real reasoning for wanting to control of New York City, with only hints of her lineage being shown and a want for true power. As such, this makes her appear very petty with delusions of grandeur for a woman who seems very likely to have a temper tantrum if she does not get her way, all while projecting a supreme sense of confidence when she has all of her pawns under control. This master manipulator fits the role of politician, with her introduction from the prior series being but a side note, and her true premise is now on full display as she goes to any lengths by creating the Vigilante Hunter Squad all to hunt Robyn; this is one of those unexplained inconsistencies which makes no sense when thought of in reality – why would no one question spending of outrageous funds all to stop one woman, at the cost of diverting money from other important infrastructure projects, with all the success the group seems to have is arresting the Peacock after Locksley hobbles him? This leads into her partnership with the Seamstress, a character who is new to the Grimm Universe but has abilities that would have proven useful in several conflicts, but as with her partner, there is nothing known about her background. With two such aspiring villains, I would have liked to seen more history as to their unequal partnership, but as such it appears this mystery is left unresolved as if leading into a new series, thus creating an empty void of completion. However if there is a bright spot within the story, it was the appearance of Emmett and the Underground, and more importantly the inkling of bringing back a character as delightful as Tatter. Her sacrifice in itself was heartbreakingly noble, but to now realize how much of an impact her loss had for Golem and Locksley is just as tragic, allowing Robyn to now finally acknowledge her actions have an resounding impact on others in a way she never would have thought of before, thus making her more insightful as to what she will do in the future. But with all of the excitement and thought provoking situations within the title, the overall impact of the narrative to the mythology of Robyn Hood is regretfully tenuous, leaving too many questions unanswered to completely appease loyal fans to the franchise, which is a shame for such a promising story.
And yet while some may not be pleased with the overall fulfillment of the story, one cannot deny the striking and dynamic manner by which illustrator Babisu Kourtis portrays our favorite archer, allowing her expressive features and powerful actions to propel us into the narrative, with Juan Manuel Rodriguez’s equally compelling colors to emphasize each panel with an emotional fervor that allows both disciplines to feed off the other, allowing the audience to lose ourselves within each issue. Although it may have taken some time to adjust to the Terminator inspired protagonists which littered the landscape, it is hard to ignore Kourtis’ approach of allowing his actors to tell the events with little wasted effort and communicating sincere empathy through his exquisitely defined artwork, no matter how subtle the action. The opening page is an excellent definition of his technique, with ragtag allies presenting an united front against impossible odds, and yet even within what should be a very tense situation he still manages to place upon Robyn her unique sense of confidence with a signature smirk, which cannot but make us smile in return. But even amid the starkness of an empty factory teeming with endless array of cold robots, it is Rodriguez who creates a sense of excitement through his inventive usage of motivating tones, utilizing darker shades to display the dread which our characters have as they leap into what may be a hopeless situation, but then turning the gloom through bright shadings of orange and yellow for the optimism Locksley has in finally finding a way to distract and defeat her mechanical foes. It is this welcomed synergy of complimenting proficiencies which completely envelopes readers within the world of this story, allowing us to escape from the monotony of life and embrace the grittiness of a fight for survival. With action so frenetic and frantic one cannot stop watching the excitement unfold, that is until a calmly certain Mayor Nyguen takes center stage with a scene which one cannot equate to an overly dramatic actor having a maniacal breakdown, just like a certain clown prince of crime with an equally fantastical laughing fit which cannot but make readers shake their heads in utter disbelief or awe of admiration. It is this surprising sight within all of the explosive action happening around her which makes this finale such a visual pleasure to watch unfold, with Robyn showing off her cocky confidence all as we know the who the true victor is within this contest of wills and overwhelming power.
While Robyn Hood: Vigilante is fulfilling in adding a new dimension to Robyn’s character, it lacks a sense of completion by creating as story which feels too open ended to future possibilities without addressing the ones it proposes in the present. And yet it is the outstanding illustrations and equally commanding color scheme which allows readers to participate within the narrative by surrendering to the non-stop action of melodramatic excitement. Although one can complain about the story which seemed uncertain of where it is heading, at the same time you cannot deny the title was fulfilling by allowing our heroine to reflect upon the consequences of her actions, all while allowing us to watch a sense of hope be renewed for a dramatic conclusion.
Series Grade: A-
Rating: T (Teen)
Released By: Zenescope
Release Date: April 08, 2020