Advance Review: The Sheriff Roots Out A Traitor In ‘Nottingham’ #2
by Brendan M. Allen
‘A murder at the heart of the castle shakes Nottingham to its core. As the Sheriff and Captain of the Guard scramble to root out a traitor in their midst, more of Ev’s dark and tragic past is revealed.’
Hey, you remember back in my review of Nottingham #1 where I mentioned Salah al-Din and Ayyadieh? Well, Salah al-Din is also known as Saladin, and the Massacre of Ayyadieh is the very first sequence in Nottingham #2.
It’s the first thing I thought of when I saw how dark and twisty this thing was going, how participating in this event would have torqued the mental health of one Robert Fitzooth.
After the fall of Acre, the Lionheart attempted to ransom a large number of Muslim prisoners to Saladin for 1,600 Christian captives, a relic known as the True Cross, and a heap of gold. When Saladin stalled, Richard ordered 3,000 Muslim captives brutally slain. Among them were men, women, and children. It’s the kind of thing that would really screw with the heads of the zealots that were holding the swords.
I am so, so glad this came up in the book. It’s historically accurate, and it explains so much of this interpretation of Robin Hood.
One of the themes that carries over into this series from every other Robin Hood story is the deadly tension between the Merry Men and the Sheriff. In Nottingham #2, David Hazan portrays the Sheriff as a cunning, capable detective, which is a deviation from many of the known portrayals. The man is damned good at his job, and he’s got a thing for the Hood.
One of the things I definitely didn’t expect from Nottingham is this sort of 12th century CSI thing that’s shaping up. Violent and bloody, sure. Detective noir? That’s something new. I’m digging the direction we’re headed.
Shane Connery Volk’s highly stylized, caricatured style honestly would not have been my first choice for something this dark and violent, but I have to say, it’s really growing on me. The first installment dialed in on the blood and beatings. While this chapter is also very violent, the focus is mainly on the Sheriff’s interrogations of the jailers that allowed Will Scarlet to be brutally murdered on their watch. Fear, anger, and mistrust are clearly written on the faces of the witnesses, while you can see the wheels turning for the inquisitors as they sort it all out.
Again, not for the kiddies. Let them have their singing foxes and horrible, horrible accents. Definitely my current pick for the best Robin Hood, though, and I’m very, very trustworthy.
Nottingham #2, Mad Cave Studios, 07 April 2021. Written by David Hazan, art by Shane Connery Volk, color by Luca Romano, letters by Joamette Gil.
Two of the things I nerd out to are horror and history, and I absolutely love how Nottingham views the latter through the lens of the former. This is a very smart, very gory take on Sherwood’s favorite son, and I’m absolutely here for it.