Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Robin Hood Riding on a Pig

Now, we've had Australian Robin Hoods...

...and American Robin Hoods...

...and a New Zealander Robin Hood...

And a Robin Hood who can speak in an English accent!

...but have you ever seen Robin Hood riding on a pig? Let me answer that for you: no. No, you have not.

Let's remedy that.

The action begins in DC's The Brave and the Bold #6, back in those pre-Batman Team-Up days when B&B featured blazing adventures of The Silent Knight, The Golden Gladiator, The Viking Prince, The Neanderthal Warrior, The Scarlet Swashbuckler, The Reluctant Bullfighter, The Conscientious Objector, The New Yorker, The Nashville Network, and The Guy Who Definitely Isn't Batman, Not Yet. (I may have made up one or two of these.) Also, the hero of Nottinghamshire in his stinking outfit (not many washing machines in the forest) Robin Hood! And, his band of Merry Men. And Maid Marion. Wouldn't you like to see some of their adventures in their famous forest? Sure would!

Deep in the woods, Robin Hood, dressed in his traditional outfit of Lincoln Green Red, his band of outlaws, and Gloop and Gleep from The Herculoids hear the terrifying tale of the newest danger in Sherwood: a giant boar! That's boar (a wild pig), not bore (a wild Glenn Beck). On that, at least, Robin has lucked out.

Panels from The Brave and the Bold #6 (June-July 1956), script by Bob Haney (of course), pencils and inks by Joe Kubert

But Robin can't shoot the boar! That's because it is made of...adamantium! (First appearance, Wolverine-Boar, Brave and the Bold #6.)

Not only that, but Robin allows himself to be captured by the wily boar and his group of tiny warriors! Ah, so this is the infamous Robbin' Hog and his Merrie Midgets! Or, as Occam's Razorback would tell us, a simpler explanation is that it's a trained boar used to guide Robin into a trap set by the wily Sheriff of Nottingham. Which is a pity, because I want to see a Robbin' Hog adventure. "Stand and deliver...your slops and mash!"

Say, why wasn't Robin able to shoot that boar with his Hawkeye™ brand Nev-R-Miss Arrows? Well, as Robin's tortured inner thoughts tell us, the pig's covered with armor painted blue. Whoever it was in the S. of N.'s R&D department who came up with this got a raise, or at least possibly his first-born child back.

Setting the standard for supervillains from Goldfinger to his cheap brother Butterfinger, the Sheriff does not put a loaded Glock against Robin's head and blow his brains out, but instead puts him in a pig pit. Oh, well, that actually doesn't sound too bad at all! Soon Robin will be noshing on rich barbecued pork ribs slathered with tangy sauce and...oh, not that kind of pig pit. I've made another one of my silly mistakes. This pit will kill him.

Devo shows up to whip it good while Robin Hood takes advantage of the matador knowledge he learned in an earlier adventure set in South America (Brave and the Bold issue #3, "Robin Goes Bananas").

Now here's where you get what was labelled on the tin. Bask in the glory that is Robin Hood Riding on a Pig!


Thus, after aiding Robin with his daring escape in a stunt for which even Errol Flynn would have demanded full access to Olivia de Havilland, this noble beast became one of the most renowned of Robin Hood's famous band: The Pork Knight! Fighting alongside the valiant outlaws of Sherwood Forest until rightful King Richard was restored at last to the throne (and he'll be out in just a couple minutes), The Pork Knight is mentioned in tales, ballads, myths, legends, and is even rumored to be the distant medieval ancestor of today's most dangerous warthog warrior: The Punisher's Battle-Pig!!

Sadly, we see no more of this little piggy in the Robin Hood tale, the rest of which is taken up with a celebration of kites (!) and Robin Hood attacking the Sheriff by hiding in a flying box kite (!!) to rescue Richard the Lionhearted (!!!?$@&^!) from a tower in Nottingham. Although he isn't pictured in the panels, I like to think the blue boar was right alongside the Merry Men, firing arrows into the air and making hearty quips with the others about the chances for medical recovery from a dangerous arrow wound in the thirteenth century. And thus, he ran into legend, blue chain mail and all.

Let's check to see if Robin and Company enjoyed this post, shall we?

I'll take that as a vote of cheery confidence! And on that bombshell: play us off, Bryan Adams!


Michael Jones said...

I'd have included the Scotsman from Robin & Marian but otherwise a good retrospective.

Jon Jermey said...

...based on an idea by Francis Bacon...

SallyP said...

Well that was bizarre.