Robyn Hood 2016 Annual #1 Review


“It’s been a long road to get from there to here. It’s been a long time, but my time is finally here.” These words from the song Faith of the Heart have never rang more true than for the Robyn Hood 2016 Annual #1: Hard-Hearted.

Robyn Hood 2016 Annual #1 Hard-Hearted
Written by Pat Shand
Artwork by Larry Watts
Colors by Slamet Mujiono
Published by Zenescope Publishing

Warning this review contains SPOILERS for Pat Shan’s final issue of Robyn Hood. Don’t say I did not warn you.

This standalone special epilogue marks the conclusion of the four-year run on Robyn Hood by writer Pat Shand. This special issue celebrates Robyn Locksley, Marian Quin, and all of the friends and foes that have joined them on their journey. Larry Watts, original artist on the Robyn Hood trilogy that preceded the ongoing series returns for this final tale.

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Pat Shand is no stranger to the supernatural having worked on Van Helsing, Charmed and Angel titles. Over the years he has crafted fascinating tales and an interesting and modern take on the Robin Hood legend.

His journey comes to a conclusion in Robyn Hood: Hard Hearted, a 42-page book that is meant to draw the tale of Robyn Hood to a close as well as his tenure as the writer on the series.

Let’s start with the positive. Shand does a fine job putting together a narrative that flows pretty well. He also does a good job at creating levity in serious situations. The artwork is also solid, Watts does a good job in balancing the look and feel of a comic book, while also making the characters look lifelike. One aspect of the book that stood out was that of the color use by Slamet Mujiono. The color stands out and takes a rather gloomy story and adds some life to the scenes.

Overall the one word that stands out when it comes to this book is underwhelming. This story does not feel finished, it ends with many questions and little closure. The narrative starts off strong with some fun fight scenes and odes to storylines of the past, but it comes to a conclusion that is the very definition of anticlimactic.

The shadowy villain of the story is not revealed till the final frames of the story, and even then her reasoning for the trouble she has caused is explained in one line of text. The final fight is also very underwhelming.

With so many characters and an uber-villain with her own small army, one world expect an epic battle. What we get is a fight that is began and concluded in two pages. That’s right: two pages. Even Robyn Hood herself is shortchanged, being too drunk to shoot her bow (yes that’s right) she brawls out of frame and her final fight with the villain is regulated to one punch in a single frame.

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The Bottom Line: Overall this was a very disappointing finale to Pat Shand’s excellent run with Robyn Hood. Hopefully the series will return in some way and fans and readers will not be left with this sad conclusion as Robyn Hood’s final outing.