The Robin Hood story is a story of loyalty, criminality, fidelity to ones country with distain towards the government, as well as some really cool medieval fighting. At the core of the story is a love story between Robin and Marian. Patrick Shand is now re-interpreting the tale for Zenescope. Zenescope’s version of Robyn Hood puts an updated and reinvigorating twist on a classic tale by re-inventing the main character as a female heroine.
First Comics News: When you hear the name Robin Hood, you get a picture in your mind of a medieval archer and swordsman, a heroic outlaw known for “robbing from the rich and giving to the poor”. Is that all out the door with your version?
Patrick Shand: While we’re obviously putting a new spin on the classic tale, if we threw all of that out the door, it wouldn’t be Robin – or in this case, Robyn – Hood. While we’re playing with different elements and approaching the legend in a very different way, I’m still building Robyn up to be a hero cut from the same cloth as the eponymous outlaw from the Robyn Hode ballads. I studied Medieval Lit more than anything else in college, so I’d have an angry professor or two after me if I didn’t do right by this tale.
1st: So who is Robyn Hood?
Patrick: She’s a marriage of the new and the old; the living dichotomy of this very Medieval way of thinking and what we have come to accept as the modern high school girl. But while Robyn certainly comes from a time period we recognize, she is not a modern hero. Her heroism is more in line with the ruthlessness of the original Robyn Hode tales.
1st: How does a High School girl fit into the Robin Hood myth?
Patrick: That’s the biggest change, obviously, in that as opposed to a man from the Middle Ages, Robyn is an eighteen-year-old girl. It isn’t much of a spoiler because the solicitation talks about this, but we’re not keeping Robyn in our modern idea of Earth. She is taken to theland ofMyst, where much of Zenescope’s Grimm Fairy Tales series takes place, in the first issue.
Myst is the fairy tale realm, so it’s this really fun mix of a basic fantasy land where anything can happen and a Medieval landscape of kings, knights, war, and corruption. While our Robyn has never been a stereotypical high school girl, she will really find out who she is, what she is made of, when she steps up to the role she is expected to play in Myst.
1st: What about Maid Marian? Is this a male role, now or does Robyn have a girlfriend?
Patrick: Yep, we have Maid Marlon now, designed directly after Marlon Wayans. Just ‘cause. But yeah, no. No Marian yet. This miniseries is focusing on building Robyn as a character and a hero, and her mind is in a state where boyfriend or a girlfriend is the absolutely last thing she’s thinking about.
1st: What about the Merry Men, Little John, Much, William Scarlet and Friar Tuck are they in the comic?
Patrick: There will be no lack of Merry Men. It’s pretty interesting that those are the four you name right off the bat, too. No spoilers, but the roles these characters are going to be playing in Robyn’s life and character journey have been really exciting to think up.
And they make for some really fun banter.
1st: Are they all recast in female roles?
Patrick: Hah. No.
1st: What sets Robyn Hood apart from fictional archers like Green Arrow, Hawkeye, or Katniss Everdeen of Hunger Games fame?
Patrick: I compared her to Katniss in the press release, and while that holds true, she is very much her own person. She came from a life where she never had anyone to rely on, literally from birth. Even as a kid, she was the one doing what had to be done. She’s tough, she’s a bit disturbed, and man has she got a dark sense of humor – but there’s also a part of her hoping that there’s something wonderful out there. She’ll believe it when she sees it.
1st: Does Robyn Hood fit into a larger Zenescope Universe or is it a stand alone mini-series?
Patrick: While it is set firmly within the Grimm Universe, it can be read and understood without any prior knowledge. You won’t have to pick up any other series to enjoy Robyn Hood… but you should. The things that Raven, Joe, Ralph, Mark, and so many other great writers are doing with this ‘verse makes me, above all, proud to be contributing.
1st: What’s next for Robyn after the 5 issue mini-series?
Patrick: Here’s the painful thing about being a writer. No matter what the gig, if you’re invested, you’re in trouble because you start planning for the future. My first gig was a two-page Angel comic at IDW… but yet I had ideas for no less than forty issues because I loved the characters. With Robyn Hood, a trilogy of miniseries would be perfect, because I definitely have more stories to tell. #5 will give an appropriate finale and closure to everything we’re doing here, because I don’t want fans going into #1 that they’re going to be left hanging after the series ends. Definitely not. I came up watching Buffy and Angel, so I go by the Joss Whedon model. You never know if you’re going to get more stories to tell, so end with emotional significance, characters growing, thematic closure… and hope for more.
1st: What makes Robyn Hood so cool no true comic fan should miss it?
Patrick: Epic battles, quippy dialogue, a tragic character who builds herself up from nothing, big sweeping action, quiet character moments, magic, and respect for the original ballads. It’s a story that Zenescope fans will have a lot to connect to, but is completely friendly to new readers. It’s a story and a character that I care a lot about, and I can’t wait for folks to start reading it.