- Writer: David Hazan
- Artist: Shane Connery Volk
- Colorist: Luca Romano
- Letterer: Joamette Gil
- Editors: Chris Fernandez and Brian Hawkins
- Designer: Diane Bermudez
Thanks to Mad Cave Studios for the review copy!
In a world full of Robin Hood adaptations, NOTTINGHAM manages to bring something new to the table. It’s a gritty, dark look at the legend that also employs a role reversal. Usually, Robin Hood is portrayed as the hero of the tale, robbing from the rich to feed the poor (and often shooting arrows that magically don’t kill anyone). NOTTINGHAM shifts the perspective and casts Sheriff Blackthorne as an intrepid investigator trying to catch a murderous Robin Hood.
Following the startling murder of a character (one who is usually a main character in no less) at the end of the first issue, Blackthorne employs some old fashioned detective skills that usually aren’t part of a Robin Hood story. In many ways, this issue plays like a police procedural TV show with the investigation essentially being resolved in this issue. Blackthorne’s methods aren’t always the nicest, but he seems to get to the right answer. Thus far, he is a fairly nuanced character, which is a refreshing change from the typical good vs. evil portrayal of Robin Hood’s characters.
NOTTINGHAM’s art continues to be a strong point. The character’s faces are full of detail, showing wrinkles, stubble, and spittle. You can tell a lot of care has been taken to show facial expressions, even for minor characters. This helps further the story without relying solely on dialogue. The flashback panels use a red tint to subtly set them apart from the current timeline. Robin Hood’s character design is both creepy and unique – no green tights here. .
NOTTINGHAM continues to be a retelling aimed at adults, with some bloody violence (less than the first issue, cursing, and brief implied sexual activity. Through two issues, the book has shown it is willing to depart from the well known story, meaning even if you are familiar with Robin Hood, you won’t be able to predict what will happen next. The second issue tells a self contained mystery that fits within the overall tale established in the first, so if you can’t get a copy of the first issue, you can enjoy the story as long as you can get your head around the fact that Backthorne is the protagonist.
NOTTINGHAM #2 is now available.
Check back in a few weeks for my thoughts on the 3rd issue of the series.
Are you going to pick up this issue? Feel free to chat with me on Twitter or leave a comment below!