When it comes to any story if I’m not interested in the character I’m not going to devote a second of my time on it. The biggest explosions in movies, the most twist-happy comics or the best narrative between two hardcovers won’t sway me into using my precious time if I can’t invest myself in the character. So color me curious when I was instantly interested in this Robyn character over in her new one-shot, where she comes off as interesting and compelling. Though I just said character is everything, that don’t mean this book is good. So what of it, is it good?
Robyn Hood One-Shot (Age of Darkness) (Zenescope Entertainment)
Writer Pat Shand, who I spoke to only yesterday, writes this 40 page one-shot which contains a semi-self contained story, but also contains some key events that’ll tie into a future storyline. This is good and bad; good because it makes this issue matter more, bad because it’s not such a self contained story. That said, it does open and close with a nice dream sequence that bookends this issue and ties into the character’s psychosis well.
This issue dabbles in Robyn’s new role working for the government as a special ops type hero. Things get wonky for her quickly though, when she’s teleported to the headquarters of the big baddies. Outmanned and outgunned, Robyn must survive with her life, but also deal with the idea that she might be the weapon the bad guys desire most.
Right off the bat the dialogue is what keeps this comic interesting and spry. Shand employs a cracking bit of narration and dialogue that keeps a smirk on your face and your interest high. Robyn has a smart mouth and an attitude that should keep you interested no matter the scene. She’s a bit of a badass too, with just enough edge to keep her interesting. She’s no cliche of a hero, that’s for sure. The pace and twists and turns of the story keep you guessing and interested…well, that is until about page 34, where Robyn has an exposition heavy sequence with one of the villains. It goes on and on setting up a story I’m not sure one-shot readers will care about. Given, it’s only four pages, but it brings the issue screeching to a halt and makes the remaining bit read more like an epilogue than a conclusion to this single issue.
If you are a reader of Zenescope books you’ll totally dig these pages though as they’re all about not only set up, but also about rewarding those loyal readers. I can’t say I read enough Zenescope books to keep my own head above water, but it’s interesting enough to be worth a read through at the very least. I just wasn’t captivated by this portion.
The art is by Larry Watts and I can’t help but say this is some of the best art I’ve seen in a Zenescope book. Watts has a cinematic quality to his pages, mostly due to the layouts, but the balance between shots is impeccable. Your interest never wanes and the pace is balanced. There’s not an instance of exploitation in this issue (well, there is one, but it’s comical so it gets a pass on the taste barometer).
Love those expressions.
Is It Good?
It is indeed, with plenty of action, sharp dialogue and good pacing to keep anyone interested. It’s not a perfect comic, but 90 or so percent of it is, which isn’t a given when it comes to any property these days.