Monday, February 17, 2014
Demons Of Sherwood!
I'm not quite sure what prompted me to pick up this 2009 edition of Demons of Sherwood. I was just in the mood for some decent fantasy and this looked like a likely choice. Bo Hampton is an exceedingly reliable artist, capable and skilled and able to blend real draftsmanship with solid storytelling. So I dropped a few dollars and brought this IDW publication home and promptly forgot all about it.
Then the other day I was again looking for something of a certain length to pass the time and found this volume. It seemed well past time to read it. I did, and I'm happy to report it's a solid story with enough twists to keep it interesting. It feels like a movie, which makes it fit in well with the other Robin Hood adventures I've sampled over the years.
But this is not the picture of sturdy manhood we find in most Robin Hood adventures, no Errol Flynn types here, save perhaps in the sense that Flynn was a renowned drunkard. This Robin has fallen on hard times in the many years which have passed since the heady days of the Merry Men. "Maid" Marian has disappeared from his life and he's taken to drink and the skills which marked him as someone of significance and import have drained away. His hand shakes and his arrows fall far from the mark.
Into this dissolute life comes danger in the form of local villagers who seek and burn witches. One such supposed witch has found sanctuary in the local nunnery but has been taken along with the woman and child to sought to protect her. That woman is Marian and Robin is contacted to seek her out and save her life, if he can. And it's no certain thing that he can save the day. His old allies Will Scarlet and Little John show up, but it's clear they have lost regard for their former captain if not affection for him.
To make things worse, the Sherwood Forest has become the home to supernatural beings of various kinds such as gargoyles and werewolves and those who prowl its depths are in constant danger of not only their lives but their souls as well.
This is not a story you can discuss long without spoiling it, so I'll stop, but I have recommend it to anyone looking for a decent fantasy adventure to pass some idle minutes. The Bo Hampton artwork is rock solid and the story is compelling.