REVIEW: Sherwood, TX #1

SherwoodTX-#1-review01SHERWOOD, TX #1
Shane Berryhil (w)
Daniel Hillyard, Charlie Kirchoff (a)
Andrew Robinson, Eben Matthews (c)
FC • 24 pages • $1.00
In stores 7/16/2014

Re-imagining the legend of Robin Hood as a modern day Spaghetti Western, SHERWOOD, TX is set inside the world of biker gangs, drug wars, and human trafficking.

After the same biker gang who murdered his father leaves ROB HOOD for dead, he returns seeking his own brand of justice and revenge. Hood is joined on his quest by Padre Elvin Tuck, Will Scarlet, and Little John, as they take on the crooked Sheriff of Nottingham, Texas and his partners in crime, The Nobles biker gang and their leader John Prince.

REVIEW:

The basic legend of Robin Hood is one that most people know, even though many of the details are shaped by modern depictions. Sherwood, TX does an admirable job of adapting the relationships into the more modern setting but by adapting the names such as Rob Hood, Padre Tuck and Jon Prince, the allegory is shoved right into the readers’ faces. The comic also makes use of giving the protagonist and Will Scarlett a illegitimate half-sibling relationship, originated in the Kevin Costner film adaptation, although not making it a surprise relationship in this case. That’s where the flaws I find in this story end.

Shane Berryhill’s story is intriguing, with Rob Hood running afoul of a human trafficking operation that killed his father and finds himself on the wrong side of a gun. His relationship with Maria, the Maid Marian equivalent in the story, is written well, with her relationship to the Sheriff being a refreshing change of pace the the mythology. The introduction of the conflict between Rob Hood and the biker gang that killed his father is very well written, on par with similar scenes I’ve seen done by more established writers.

Daniel Hillyard’s art is very nice and open, accurately giving the location a very remote feeling. Given the source that the story is adapted from, I would have expected an artist to pack in as much extraneous detail as possible, but this is a refreshing change of pace from the hyper-realistic artwork from the majority of the comics published today. At times I find Hillyard’s style reminiscent of Brian Stelfreeze, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. especially when in so many places, Hillyard’s own visual style comes through.

I have to also point out the magnificent coloring by Charlie Kirchoff. From the opening scene, he really helps set the mood of the series and enhances the artwork by not going overboard with special effects, yet capturing the effects of light. He beautifully captures the atmospheric perspective element to the outdoor scenes, something too often ignored in comics. His work here is something all aspiring artists working in color should study.

Do I recommend Sherwood #1? For $1.00, I definitely do. Even if it’s something that you don’t care for, the affordable introductory price tag makes it worth the try, and I think a majority of people will find it an enjoyable and intriguing read worthy of picking up subsequent issues.