The new Robyn Hood ongoing series begins when Robyn Locksley, a female Robin Hood, and Marian Quinn, her Maid Marion, have come back to Earth from the realm of Myst where they had fought side by side in a war (in the Grimm Fairy Tales: Robyn Hood series). Now settled in New York City, Robyn and Marian have set up shop as private investigators for the supernatural, as well as the everyday mundane.
Without having read the previous series about Robyn’s adventures, Robyn Hood, Vol 1: Riot Girls is confusing and hard to follow, despite ostensibly being the start of a new series. A problem that contributes to the confusion is the dropping of characters throughout the story line. For example, Peter the librarian, who was a primary character throughout the first issues, suddenly disappears and is never mentioned again. The introduction of Little Red Riding Hood also seemed a bit slap-dash; there is some history between Robyn and Red that is only briefly explained in the book, so again, readers unfamiliar with the preceding series may be missing out.
Volume One collects the first six issues of Robyn Hood. Sensibly, the set-up of each issue ties to the other, and Pat Shand as the only writer through the volume also gives the story some cohesion. With four different artists covering six issues in this volume, as well as the myriad of guest artists for the variants, there is no continuity to how the characters are presented. In the first issue, Riot Girls, the female characters are hyper-sexualized while in the next two issues, drawn by a woman, their features are less provocative and more realistic. The last three issues each have a different artist, which also contributes to the lack of continuation in character design. There is some stability with the colorists and lettering, which helps solidify the story to some degree; the shading and coloring of characters seem to keep the same skin tones, unfortunately including the characters meant to portrayed as people of color.
As a whole, the volume contains language and sexual content that would make it more suitable for adult graphic novel collections.With further volumes in the series, one can only hope that the next ones will be smoother after this rocky start.
Robyn Hood, Vol 1: Riot Girls
by Pat Shand
Art by Larry Watts, Claudia Balboni, Tony Brescini, James Salangang Jr.