In Review: Robyn Hood: The Curse #5

The heroes race to stop a villain from summoning a monster.

The covers: Eight covers to collect on this penultimate issue. The A cover is by Sean Chen and Ivan Nunes. This has a very sci-fi feel since Robyn looks to be in the process of being transported off this earthly plane. Her arms are wide, with her holding her bow in her left hand. Her head rests on that shoulder, as if she’s unconscious. The structure she’s standing upon is a pyramid located in a metropolitan city. She looks great and the colors are excellent, with the pinks vibrant against night in the city. The B hails from Anthony Spay and Grostieta. The villainous Gerry Villariagosa has revealed his true self. Dressed like a Mayan priest he looks down in delirious pleasure at the heart from a recent sacrifice in his left hand. He looks incredible, with his headdress and neck piece outstanding. The coloring by Grostieta is beautiful for such a horrific image. The next cover is the C by Kevin McCoy and Ula Mos and it makes me exciting for this year’s upcoming San Diego Comic-Con. With the entrance to the Gaslamp Quarter behind her, Robyn takes a stand holding her bow her left hand and an arrow in her right. This is a fantastic looking Robyn and the sign behind her is spot on. The ferocious Quetzalcoatl surrounds a pyramid with its feathered tail while eyeing the reader. The god looks to be about to spring on those unfortunate to gaze upon it. This is a solid D cover by Julius Abrera and Hedwin Zaldivar. This is a much larger version of the god than I normally picture, but I do appreciate the feathers on this serpent which are often only on its wings. The colors are beautiful, which would undoubtedly pull the reader closer to an untimely end. Unfortunately I couldn’t find the Cosplay Exclusive (limited to 350 copies) by Dawn McTeigue with colors by Mos or the Denver Comic Con Cosplay Exclusive (limited to 350 copies) by Elias Chatzoudis. Good luck, collectors! Thankfully I was able to find the Licensing Expo Exclusives (limited to 250/100 copies) by Keith Garvey online which feature Robyn in an office high in the city, as evidenced by the view outside the large windows. The larger edition has her taking off some glasses and placing her right hand on her hip, revealing there’s nothing under the gray jacket she’s wearing. She also has on a matching skirt, with just a hint of black stockings showing. The smaller edition has her in the same locale and pose, though now all she has on is a necklace, bracelet, black panties and stockings. This one is Z-Rated and not for kids. But, wow. Overall grades: A A-, B A, C A, D B+, and Licensing Expo Exclusives both A

The story: Robyn is in a really bad place. She and Marion, accompanied by Detective Williams Mose, were attacked last issue, with their car rammed into a mini-mart. Robyn is conscious, but Mose is out and she’s pleading with him to wake up. She doesn’t have her bow, she left it at Marion’s. The three individuals sporting masks made of human flesh approach the upside down car they’re in. Robyn grabs the detective’s gun and take one down, but her hand is hit by a foe’s club and she loses the weapon. She is able to keep the two men at bay while Mose begins to regain consciousness. Unfortunately one man is too quick and grabs her by the neck and pins her to the car. Just as he about to shatter her skull with his club a tiny flying supernatural terror flies at the man and bites his wrist, causing him to drop the club. Robyn kicks the man off her. Who summoned the creature won’t be a surprise, but it is good to see this character back in the thick of things. The women leave the detective to deal with the paperwork while they return to Marion’s to wear suitable clothes and get their weapons so they can take out Gerry Villaraigosa. There’s a big event occurring at his recently completed building that resembles a pyramid. His change of clothes create dramatic irony. Writer Chuck Dixon is putting all the characters in their places for the conclusion next month. It’s a fun read, but not surprising. That is until the final two pages when the big bad is revealed — that was a surprise! I was hoping the villain would be more Lovecraft related, but this foe will do. Overall grade: B

The art: The book opens with the destruction of Robyn and her friends’ car with the villains moving in to finish them off. Julius Abrera makes Robyn’s battle with the thugs exciting and easy to follow. I especially like when he focuses on the characters without any background. His work on the characters’ clothes during these battles looks really sharp. The work done on the flesh masks is also good. The last panel on Page 8 is a great image that shows the heroes on their way to the final battle and it’s great. Sam stretching her magical muscles at the end of 9 is also good, with that smile the cherry on top of the image. The next page has a visual action that made me laugh as the heroes get a little boost to get to the building sooner. The clothing that Villaraigosa dons on 11 is a visual clue as to where this tale is heading. Two comical characters who have been in this series since the first issue have another run-in with Sam and she does something to them that’s funny. The selection of the person from the audience on 15 would be fairly intense, were it not for the dialogue and the look on the volunteer’s face. Abrera rightly makes this character look as though the entire affair is joke, with her close-up on 16 great. Reading the book too quickly the first time, I missed the character that appears in the final panel on 17, who increases the tension just with her presence. The first full-page splash is on 18 with an action that will be familiar to those who teach or study history. The audience’s reaction is spot on, with Villaraigosa being appropriately inspired. The final page is also a full-paged splash, showing the big bad to the reader. I’m interested to see what Abrera does with this character in the final issue. Overall grade: B

The colors: This entire issue is set in the night. Everything should be difficult to see given the hour, but Robby Bevard colors each page and panel perfectly so that every element of the art can be seen. Case in point, look at the six pages set in the mini-mart. It’s obviously night due to the darker colors and the predominance of the truck’s lone headlight. Within the vehicle things are darker, but Robyn’s eye shines wonderfully in yellow. When she shoots one of her assailants crimson is effectively used. When the story transitions from a live event to a broadcast, Bevard filters the illustration so it looks like a television program. When magical events occur or are foreshadowed violets are used. For example, when Sam is first seen the sky is colored in blended shades of the color, ultimately becoming a light violet when she powers up. When Villaraigosa makes his action to start the climax, the sky is again violet, with the color used on the new character that’s revealed on the final page. I like that. Overall grade: B+

The letters: Taylor Esposito of Ghost Glyph Studios creates this issue’s yells, dialogue, sounds, television text, a phone conversation, words in another language, a whisper, and the tease for next issue. I like that Esposito uses different fonts for yells, giving the utterances different visual intensities to effect how the reader hears them. The words in another language are italicized to have them stand out, matching when such a trait is done in other forms of writing. Though it only occurs once, I like the whisper, which gives the character’s speech an air of authenticity because I wouldn’t want to speak too loudly either. Overall grade: A

The final line: The heroes race to stop a villain from summoning a monster. The story is fairly predictable, but enjoyable nonetheless. There is a good reveal at the end, setting up Robyn to fight an antagonist of a size she’s not fought before. The visuals tell the story easily, with the opening action sequence well done. A good comic read. Overall grade: B+

To order a print copy go to https://shop.zenescope.com/products/robyn-hood-the-curse-5

To see the covers got to my Instagram account: patrickhayesscifipulse

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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