Robyn Hood has been a pleasant surprise every single month, mostly because there’s no telling what sort of storytelling it’ll deliver. It’s well paced with good character development, but sometimes a curve ball hits and it manages to rustle the reader into viewing some creative ideas that work. It takes risks, and with risks comes success and failure. So what say you, issue #6? Is it good?
Robyn Hood #6 (Image Comics)
This is a jumping on point issue if y’all are interested in checking this out. The issue opens with Maid Marian doing some magic in her living room whilst her roommate Robyn sleeps off a long day. It’s pegged as a “Maid Marian Mystery” in the opening, but it’s largely a juxtaposed tale between the two. Writer Pat Shand links them as they are both going through a bit of a crisis. Marian because of her losing her magic powers and Robyn because she has some serious anger issues she needs to deal with.
Magic to make divorce right…impossible!
Shand splits them up after we witness some introspection from both, which helps set up their mental state moving forward. From there, Robyn attends a meeting with a psychologist while Marian goes to her type of psychologist: a peacemaker. The issue cuts between the two as they talk about their problems and begin to understand themselves. It’s a clever way to tie Marian’s very mystical powers to Robyn, who is much more grounded and relatable. Of course the issue has action as well and it’s used in a comical way to break up the dialogue and hammer home the lifestyle Robyn must lead.
The most compelling aspect of this issue, however, is the touching on the lesbian aspects of the characters. While Marian is open about her sexuality Robyn isn’t and while there have been moments where she says outright she’s not gay, there’s a dream sequence that seems to suggest otherwise. It’s all handled rather well and makes the characters that much more compelling and complex. One wonders if Shand will be up for a GLAAD award next year if he keeps exploring this aspect of the characters.
Always love when stories crosscut two dialogues so that they seem to be one.
The art by Jaime Salangsang Jr. is very photographic and reminds me of Greg Land in many respects. His ability to draw facial expressions is incredibly lifelike; this helps keep the dialogue heavy moments interesting as they’re practically actors in a TV show with their expressions. I especially appreciate the detail in the backgrounds which solidifies this taking place in a very real and dangerous world.
My favorite aspect of this issue was the use of a splash page that’s unconventional. I don’t want to spoil the moment, but its use creates a great sense of danger for our hero. The angle a certain monster is in creates a sense of impending doom, but what’s interesting is most of this splash is empty. This emptiness creates a void that enhances the moments around it which are a bit more claustrophobic and filled with dialogue. It gives the reader a moment to catch their breath, but then double over with the impending danger. Good stuff.
What’s wrong with your face?!
Is It Good?
For an issue that’s mostly about characters talking about their feelings you’ll be surprised just how captivating it all is due to interesting character work and compelling art.