Comics: Van Helsing vs. Robyn Hood #3 - Reviewed

Zenescope will release the continuation of one of their latest series in issue three of Van Helsing vs. Robyn Hood on March 7, 2018. Issue three, which is the second to the final issue, finds Robyn nearly unrecognizable at this point after being injected with a serum that has turned her into a bloodthirsty vampire. Desperate to save her longtime friend, Liesel Van Helsing is hot on Robyn’s trail along with the man who currently holds an antidote that can cure her friend. Unfortunately, it is learned that the antidote will only work if Liesel has not fed on human blood yet, and this issue is their race to Robyn, hoping they can save her in time! 

This series, written by Zenescope Co-Founder, Ralph Tedesco, is certainly an action packed book with lots of surprises. I have to say that for the most part I have enjoyed this particular series. I like the interaction we have seen with Liesel and Robyn and honestly this is one of the few Zenescope titles where the main characters have very distinct personalities, which is really what I was hoping to see more of in the prior titles that I have read. As I have mentioned in previous reviews, I find that Zenescope struggles writing multi-dimensional female characters, and after a while all of the ladies within the universe tend to share the same personality traits as well as similar dialogue styles. In Van Helsing vs. Robyn Hood, Liesel certainly fits the stereotypical Zenescope lady. She’s sarcastic, dry and constantly has a witty retort. That being said, because Robyn seems to be a lot more laid back, calm and has a bit more of a quiet baddassness to her, their friendship chemistry simply works better. You get to see a friendship, different personalities and the plot reveal itself more clearly, as opposed to just constant snarky back and forth remarks from one character to the next throughout the book. I have enjoyed this series a lot and this particular issue was a lot of fun. Vampire Robyn has begun to wreak havoc as she struggles to find her footing in her newly found vampire body. She is angry at Liesel and when the two finally face off, she expresses her feelings of resentment and blames Liesel for the fact she has been turned into a vampire. This issue leaves on an exciting cliffhanger and we are still left wondering if Robyn can yet be saved. 

Allen Otero brings his artistic hand to another Zenescope title with Van Helsing vs. Robyn Hood. Otero certainly has talent and his artwork follows the Zenescope themes well. Once again, I do struggle with the artistic choices that Zenescope has made with this title, though I do not find fault in the work Otero has done. His line work is clean and the characters are extremely appealing, though once again, I find there is nothing standout about the art in this series. Whether it is by choice that Zenescope has elected to make all of the art done by various artists look like they have been drawn by a single artist or they just simply only like one style of art, I find that in doing that it makes the comics rather artistically dull. I would love to see more diversity, both artistically and quite frankly, in the characters, and I think that the books would have a greater appeal to a wider variety of audience. 

Though Van Helsing vs. Robyn Hood is hardly a favorite of the year for me, the story is action packed and fun and the characters are appealing. I imagine someone who is a fan of each of these characters’ solo titles will certainly enjoy reading about the conflict and issues these two have encountered together. I have hopes we will eventually see a bit more diversity in the characters that Zenescope produces, as well as the artistic choices for new series, but unfortunately I am not holding my breath. If there have been no moves woard a change, I imagine that fans of Zenescope are happy with the art the way it is, as they wouldn’t sell if that were not the case. I do, however, look forward to reading the conclusion later this month and seeing just what happens to our heroines. 

-Rachel Rutherford