Grimm Fairy Tales Presents Robyn Hood: Age of Darkness (Comics Review)

Getting back into Zenescope’s various books with their Age of Darkness crossover event has been quite a fun experience. I haven’t dabbled too much into it as yet, but what little I’ve read has proven to be better than I expected, much better, and that in itself is quite rewarding. And in particular, I’ve found their gender-bending spin on Robin Hood to be one of the best things about their Grimm-verse right now, because Robyn Locksley aka Robyn Hood has proven to be quite a feisty and interesting character. That I am coming in to these books in the “middle” of the story hasn’t really bothered me, and that too has been a good thing.

This time I went a bit farther into Robyn’s history than the Robyn Hood: Legend #1 issue I read over the weekend. Robyn Hood: Age of Darkness is from about three months back, and it is set at an earlier time of the event timeline as the Dark Queen prepares for her army to take over the Grimm-verse and Robyn is dragged into the queen’s web of conspiracy and mystery and deceit. Writer Pat Shand has teamed up with Joe Brusha for the story for this issue and they turn out another great story here that has a very strong mixed espionage/urban fantasy feel and Larry Watts’ artwork is consistent with what I’ve seen on Robyn Hood: Legend #1.

Grimm Fairy Tales Presents Robyn Hood - Age of Darkness

First and foremost, this one-shot issue was really entertaining. It ties into several of other Zenescope titles for Age of Darkness, such as the Realm Knights Vol.1 and Code Red and Quest and, of course, references the Robyn Hood series itself, but it never feels as if you are missing out on the story because everything that you need to know is right there in the pages of this one-shot. In fact, given all the references to what is happening or has happened in the other books, it just makes you want to read them, and I can’t fault that, not at all, because I am interested in those other books and will be reading them as and when I can.

In this issue, we see that Robyn is having nightmares from her time in Myst and that she is still not over the fact that her friends there were killed, especially the man that she had grown to love, Will Scarlet. It creates some nice bit of angsty drama for the character that is addressed throughout the issue, particularly since she has developed a habit of nodding off during her mission debriefings with HiboCorp, the US government agency that she works for, the agency which has taken her in to employ her skills and abilities in their fight against the Dark Queen and other threats to Earth.

Much of this issue is an action sequence involving Robyn going up against some of the best fighters under the Dark Queen, such as Avella and Cindy (the latter from the Wonderland series I believe) and we see just how Robyn does under the circumstances. There are some twists here that I don’t like, since they involve events beyond Robyn’s control and don’t really make sense, but on the whole, this was a damn good issue, largely because I love Robyn as a character and Pat Shand’s dialogue here is pretty unrestrained in the sheer joy that he seems to be taking in the character. I am actually reminded of characters like Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers) and Black Canary when I read this comic, because Robyn seems to be quite similar in temperament to these other female comics characters that I love, and that’s great for me!

The art by Larry Watts is some of the best I’ve seen, just as it was in Robyn: Legend #1, and though there are a couple scenes where the characters are awkwardly posed and there’s just the hint of a spinebreaker, on the whole this is a really solid issue, and the art is what really sells everything. The action scenes are also kinetic and fast-moving, and I think I could read an entire issue with Robyn fighting against Avella and Cindy even if there is zero backstory. Slamet Mujiono’s colours round up the excellence in the comic, and that’s that, as they say.

Loved this issue, and definitely want to read both more Age of Darkness and more Robyn Hood!.

Rating: 9/10

More Robyn Hood: Legend #1.

More Age of Darkness: GFT Annual 2014, Neverland: Age of Darkness #1, GFT #0.

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Posted on May 19, 2014, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

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