ONI Press 2016
Written by Robert Rodi
Illustrated by Jackie Lewis
Coloured by Marissa Louise
Lettered by Jon Cairns
More secrets are revealed in this exciting chapter of the bold and provocative re-imagining of Robin Hood! When Scarlet leaves Robin's encampment to search for Daniel of Dorcaster on her own, the Merry Men are quick to follow and bring her back before something terrible happens to her. But in the process, one of their own is captured by Guy of Gisborne! The Merry Men now have no choice—whether they like it or not, they have to fight.
With each issue that comes out the characterisation Robert brings these characters is absolutely wonderful. Robin is very much the reluctant leader, uncomfortable in the role after having taken a stance and those that flock to him and his cause. Having learned this issue what Scarlet has revealed, she’s his niece, now it’s time to go out and find her.
One of the most overlooked things in comics today is the level of characterisation and storytelling that Robert is bringing to this series. Yes we love action and adventure but without this level of both storytelling and setup the action means little. As we see the group dynamic continue to grow, change and evolve and how the characters react and get themselves into situations that will force Robin into further action against the Sheriff of Nottingham we get a better understanding of motives.
Jackie and Marissa do a very lovely job on the interiors. Particularly with Scarlet and her look. It’s obvious to me that she’s a boy living as a young woman but that’s something else altogether still seeing her in her frock and being who she is is rather delightfully portrayed. They don’t shy away from the looks and longing and the attention to detail here. The flow through the page layouts with the use of angles, perspective and use of backgrounds help us see how they live and love.
I love that Robert writes this like it should be written. Matter of factly not flowery or stereotypical in any way. Just men who have found a common cause to band together under and want to live their lives to the fullest without harassment. It’s very much the earliest struggle for equal rights for those whose lifestyle isn’t seen by some as normal. We’ve seen the jealousy issue raised last issue and the desire of one to impose his will upon others and now we’re seeing how dangerous that can be. It’s more about that imposing of will upon a society and the need for someone to champion the people at this point than “gay rights” and that’s the blurred line effect.
Robert’s turned this into a smart, intelligent and slightly political story that crosses gender, lifestyle and politics and turns it into a story for everyman or woman. It’s takes a special kind of story and writer to cross boundaries and use something common, re-imagine it and put a twist on it that could be reality and then make completely universal in nature. Robert’s skill, talent and ability here is on display beautifully and it really makes you think as a reader about how you see people.