Rating: 3/5 – A #1 that could do better at bringing new readers on board.
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.
For good or ill, I tend to think of Zenescope as “that variant cover company”. They’re certainly not the only publisher that cranks out an alarming number of covers for every comic they publish, but they do stand out in my mind as the one that tends to have a certain cheesecake-y sameness to the majority of covers. This particular issue had 4 regular variant covers (by Ken Lashley, Jenny Frisson, Stjepan Sejic, and Nei Ruffino) as well as a cover limited to 500 that is exclusive to the Salt Lake City Comic Con. I picked this one up because of the Jenny Frisson cover, so the marketing is working. The trick is getting me to come back for issue #2.
The interior art, by Larry Watts was very good. Not as eye-catching as the covers, but way better than my recollection of the interiors on the last Zenescope book I tried some time ago. The main complaint I have is certainly not unique to Watts or Zenescope, and that is a tendency to have really sparse/simplistic backgrounds. This is pretty common in comics nowadays and it really makes the artists who take the time to flesh out their worlds by detailing panel backgrounds stand out all the more.
This is “Volume 3 of the Robyn Hood Trilogy” and Pat Shand’s story made me feel exactly like I was walking into a story 2/3rds of the way through as opposed to reading a #1 issue. I’m fairly familiar with the Robin Hood mythology, so I recognized a lot of the names being tossed around. They’ve gender-swapped Robyn, but we have Will Scarlet, the Sheriff of Nottingham, Guy of Gisbourne, Marian, and others. They’ve got magical & current day twists applied to them and there is a LOT of backstory from (I assume) the 1st two series mentioned and alluded to. The story wasn’t bad, but it left so much ‘between the lines’ that I really didn’t find myself being drawn into it either. Will I be back for #2? No. That said, I liked what I read enough that I’ll keep my eyes out for the 1st series from 2012 (if I can find it at a decent price) and try to pick up on the story from the beginning.
Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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