By Deejay Dayton
February 19, 2015 - 09:19
This Robin Hood story is told in the fashion of the novel adaptations, and I suspect it is adapting some book on the character. It makes the curious choice of setting the events during the reign of Henry II, and has young Robin intending to be a forester for the king. The story then makes this all a Saxon/Norman thing, with the rich being the Normans, and Robin standing up for the oppressed Saxons.
After getting challenged by the foresters to prove his archery skills, Robin shoots a stag, and is then arrested by the foresters for doing so.
With the aid of Will the Saxon woodcutter, Robin gets away, and then spends the next few installments gathering his band of men. The scene with Little John on the log over the river I recognize, and I have vague memories of a poem in which Robin has to carry Friar Tuck across a stream, though I do not remember anything ascribing the Friar a deadly pack of hunting dogs. Will Scarlet appears as Robin's dispossessed cousin.
This version does not confine Robin to Sherwood Forest, in fact the forest is not even mentioned in this run. Friar Tuck is found in the region of Fountains Abbey, way up in Yorkshire.
In the last two installments Robin and his men come to the aid of Sir Richard of Lea, whose lands are about to be foreclosed on by the abbot. Robin's men also capture the wealthy Bishop of Hereford, and take money from him to pay off Sir Richard's debts. The abbot is surprised to receive the payment, he was expecting to take the land. The Sheriff of Nottingham is with the abbot, and hears of Robin Hood, but as the serial ends at this point never gets to take any action against him.
One of the reasons I believe this was taken from a novel is that, aside from the men in his band, we have few to none of the standard Robin Hood events - there is no big archery contest at the castle, the Sheriff is only being introduced in the 8th installment, and no Maid Marian is in sight.
Robin Hood would get much better treatment by DC in the 50s, but I will discuss his run in Brave and the Bold, and in his own series as well, when I reach those.
Robin Hood: New Adventure Comics 23 - 30 (Jan - Sept. 38)