COMIC REVIEW: Robin Hood 2020 – Issue 001

Robin Hood 2020 Issue 1 CoverThe story takes place just seven years into the future, in a Britain not that different from the present day…
One law for the rich, another for the poor.
In 2020 the Government’s Cabinet is made up of millionaires, 90% of them went to fee paying schools, a quarter went to Eton and more than 75% went to either Oxford or Cambridge University.
Almost two thirds of the Members of Parliament have been exposed for fiddling their expenses in 2020.
The wealthy are allowed to avoid tax, while the poor suffer.
The legend of Robin Hood is well known, but how would the outlaw who robbed from the rich to give to the poor be viewed today?
Robin Hood, England’s legendary archer is possibly one of the most envisaged characters across the media. Film, television, video games, books, plays and comics have all presented various versioned of the folk-hero with varying amounts of historical accuracy. He’s been re-envisioned in non-medieval settings (Such as Robin and the Seven Hoods and Rocket Robin Hood) and it is along this road that Robin Hood 2020 travels, placing a version of the hero in a not-to-distant future Britain.The copy of the comic I reviewed had a rather misleading sampler page between the cover and the first issue. This was a great little teaser, with panels from the issue featuring some of the characters, but really felt out of place inside the comic. For a moment, I was thrown at the leap-frog nature of the page until I realised what it was.

The comic features some of the main characters from the Hood legends. Introduced this issue are Robin, Marion, John, Wendy Scarlet, and a graffiti artist who’s tag is “much”. With regards the cast it seems we’re very much at an “origin” stage, with some characters meeting for the first time while others have history. I particularly enjoyed reading Marion who is clearly the centre-point and brains for the burgeoning gang. Heck, she even has a mobile command centre!

Unfortunately, I disliked the portrayal of Robin. Hood was a hero of the people, and he used the weapons of the people – a longbow and quarterstaff. In this incarnation, the man is an ex-soldier turned undercover operative (working for Marion) who uses a pistol – a weapon that is certainly not one used by the British people he represents. Still, that’s a personal problem and I do like the disillusioned soldier model for our hero.

Robin Hood 2020 Panel Page 19Many of the backgrounds are detailed with a nice mottling effect that makes them slightly unreal. It feels as if reference photographs have been run through some artistic filters and I quite like the effect. It adds an “almost real” quality to the finished product that fits in with the “almost real” backdrop being explored.  The foreground art – primarily characters, furniture and other props is rendered in a simple line-art style with a flat colour style. The characters are consistently drawn, with characters being easily recognisable from panel to panel. Unfortunately, the disparity between the background and foreground style does distract, making the art seem like two different comics merged together.

While the issue is somewhat heavy-handed in it’s message, I think that this has the potential to grow into an intriguing series. There are some rough edges to work out in the dialogue and art, but by no means should this put you off picking up a copy to check out.

Rating: 2.5 / 5
Reporter: WedgeDoc

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