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 in dealing with her new status quo the only way she know how: with a fistful of questions and a quiver 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?
At the conclusion of this memorable series, it was honestly a bit unsatisfying with 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 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 of the finale 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 series 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.
Rating: T (Teen)
Released By: Zenescope
Release Date: April 07, 2021