Review: Muppet Robin Hood #1
Writer: Tim Beedle
Artist: Armand Villavert Jr.
Covers: David Petersen and Shelli Paroline
Colours: Mara Aum
Letters: Marshall Dillon
Editor: Paul Morrisey
Retail Cover Variant Design: David Alvarez
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Release Date: May 28th, 2009
The story is as old as time itself: our hero returns home from war and finds that the evil brother of the king has changed things, and not for the better. So he heads into the only place he can find some solace, Sherwood Forest, where he meets the rest of the Merry Men and his second-in-command Little John. Meanwhile, Maid Marian is back at the castle moaning and complaining that Prince John is too controlling of her.
In this adaptation of the classic story, the Muppets, of Jim Henson Studios fame, play the roles of Robin and Company. Kermit the Frog takes up the mantle of everybody’s favorite outlaw, Robin Hood, while his cousin Robin plays the role of Squirt, a role that I found strangely analogous to Duncan in the movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Meanwhile, the role of Maid Marian is played by, of course, the love of Kermit’s life: Miss Piggy. As for the bad guys of this series, Prince John is embodied by Sam the [American British Bald] Eagle, and his faithful right-hand man, Guy of Gisborne, is played by none other than the Great Gonzo astride his steed, played by Camilla the Chicken.
After that you’ve got the Merry Men: Little John, played by Sweetums; Much, the Miller’s Son, played by Scooter; Alan-a-Dale, played by Rowlf, the Dog; Will (or should I say Willa) Scarlett, played by Alice of Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem band; Arthur a Bland, played by Rizzo the Rat; and then there’s the addition of the mumbling Swedish Chef and another unnamed cook who plays, surprisingly enough, Cook #2.
This re-telling of the famous outlaw is played out with the usual humor and general silliness that comes with the Muppets style of delivery that has been associated with the characters. When I read this comic I found that it was very close to the actual legend of the hooded hero and this first issue features all the important early keystones of the legend: Robin coming home from the Crusades, finding out that his lands have been seized unfairly by the evil Prince John, Marian bitching about her stuffy life in the castle, Robin meeting the baddies and having his first victory against them, and meeting someone who tells him of the injustices committed by Prince John and Guy of Gisborne throughout the land. In it we also see Robin meet and duel against Little John and all the things that go with that, having a fight with quarter staffs, Robin pushing John into the river and helping him get up, and the introduction of the Sherwood Outlaws that will eventually become the Merry Men of legend.
One other thing I liked about it was the fact that, even though there is a lot of silliness, the story remains quite true to its legendary roots. Percentage-wise, I would say that it is 96% accurate to the legend.
Overall, a thrilling read for anyone who wants to know the legend of Robin Hood without all the gory details. A sort of kid-friendly version of the tale of Robin Hood.