Robyn Hood: Tarot One Shot

Written by: Joe Brusha

Art by: Renato Rei, Sergio Arino, Daniel Maine, Riveiro, Grostieta, Hedwin Zaldivar, and Jorge Cortes

Published by: Zenescope Entertainment

It has been quite a few years since I’ve sat down to read a Zenescope comic.  I used to LOVE reading them and they have quite a great niche.  They take lots of fairy tale and/or mythical characters, make them into super hot women, get an awesome artist to draw those super hot women, and produce a usually very fun book to read.

Having been away for quite a number of years I wasn’t quite sure when, where, or how to jump back into reading Zenescope’s line of books but when I snagged Robyn Hood: Tarot One Shot I thought I had a great chance of getting into a book.  I hoped that it could easily reintroduce me to more of their line.  I was correct in this – this series seems to be a lead into some other series.

There’s a lot of good here and just a tiny bit bad.  I’ll start with all of the plot (and the good).

So it seems that The Order of the Tarot wants to take over the world.  They want to accomplish this while taking out the thorn in their side, Robyn Hood.  She’s a beautiful archer who runs around protecting the city.  Think Green Arrow but more beautiful and less of an asshole.

Robyn is being watched by the evil Nataliya, a busty gypsy magician working for the Tarot.  Nataliya’s plan is quite simple: watch Robyn Hood and strike out the most opportune time.  The problem is as Nataliya is trailing Robyn she also passes by another heroine named Mystere.  Thinking that the two could just kill each other Nataliya casts a spell that makes Mystere look like a demon.  Robyn and Mystere clash and the gypsy hoped that they would fight to the death.  But the spell wears off and the two are happy to be in each other’s company.  Quite a fail there, Nataliya.

After the two chat and reminisce a bit the two go out to an amusement park where they find Nataliya and her army of goons.  I’m not sure who they are – they look human but all have these sharp teeth.  Are they humans turned into cannon fodder?  Are they just cannon fodder that Nataliya brought along from Iowa?  I’m not too sure.

Then the biggest surprise of the book happens.  And while I’m not going to spoil it I am going to say that I was quite surprised that Robyn and Mystere didn’t completely save the day, go to the bar for a couple glasses of wine, then change into some sexy underwear while having a pillow fight.  This is completely not the case.  Different fates befall the characters which is how this one-shot actually serves as a prequel to not one, not two, but three completely different series.  I give kudos to writer Joe Brusha on that.  I’m actually quite psyched because now I can completely look forward to snagging some new Zenescope titles and be completely in the know.

What’s the good?  Well this title is very fun.  It’s a light, quick read and even if you are unfamiliar with any of the characters you really feel like you’ve gotten to know them by the time the book ends.  Brusha has been writing these books for years so I’m really impressed that he is able to feature these characters he knows like the back of his hand yet still produce a book that is accessible to everyone.  A lot of the art is simply fantastic and as Zenescope is known for making these books featuring gorgeous female heroines it nearly accomplishes that.

This is also a slight gripe.  Because there are a bunch of different artists on this book sometimes the artwork is drop dead fantastic and then you suddenly are looking at artwork that, while not bad, just doesn’t seem up to par with something you were looking at just a couple pages ago.  It’s no offense to those artists who aren’t as solid as the other artists but it just takes away from the overall book because of it.  I just see a Nataliya that looks amazing like this…

…and a difference in a Nataliya that looks like this…

…and think they just should have stuck with Artist A.  Again – not a huge deal.  Just a tiny gripe.

There was a montage in the middle of the book where Robyn clues Mystere in on what she has been up to for like the past year.  But it is basically just a splash page with very limited storytelling.  I would have actually liked more of a breakdown only because, as I’m jumping into the book, I would have liked to have become further invested.  Finally there is the point where Robyn and Mystere go to an amusement park to take down Nataliya.  But they just sort of arrive there after Robyn says that “her sources” told her to come to the amusement park.  What?  Even one page of some sort of simple detective work or following one of Nataliya’s goons to the amusement park would have made just a bit more sense plot wise.

Beyond that?  The Robyn Hood one-shot was one real fun read and as it leads into Grimm Fairy Tales: Tarot, Dance of the Dead, and Robyn Hood: The Hunt I am really happy to have some Zenescope books that I can look forward to picking up.  This is a great issue for new readers (or old readers like me) to jump into and I can’t wait to find out what happens to each and every character.  Especially Nataliya.  Nothing better than a foxy bad guy with her own series.

Did I mention the Sean Chen cover?  Because Sean Chen did one of the covers.  Sean Chen!!!  I LOVE YOU SEAN!