Outlaw: The Legend of Robin Hood: A Graphic Novel

Book review by
Teen Librarian, Common Sense Media
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Fast-paced retelling makes this myth exciting for teens.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

This wonderful retelling of a classic English folktale shows readers what it was like in Medieval times living from one's wits.  A brief afterword gives a nice introduction to the legend that is Robin Hood.

Positive Messages

The "stealing from the rich to give to the poor" Robin Hood way is less about vigilantism and rebellion than about standing up for those less fortunate and opposing tyranny.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Robin Hood is a role model in that he desperately wants to stand up for those less fortunate. He does steal, but only from those who are not actively helping the poor themselves. He also steals from the corrupt Sheriff and his accomplices to ensure that King Richard's ransom is paid so the King can return to his land.


Since Robin Hood is such a skilled marksman, there are plenty of arrows flying and making their target.  Daggers are used throughout, and the right-hand man of the Sheriff of Nottingham, Guy Gisburn, is especially cruel in his torture and violence.


Robin Hood and Maid Marian steal a few kisses, but they remain chaste, with only cheeky flirting between the two.


A henchman of Gisburn calls Robin Hood an "ass," but more in the way of a donkey.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Robin Hood and Little John are once seen celebrating with two mugs of ale.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that though this gripping adventure graphic novel is chock-full of comic book violence (arrows, knives, and swords are used frequently), it's not gory. The story never loses sight of the underlying message about standing up for those less fortunate and opposing tyranny.

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What's the story?

As a young boy, Robin watched as his father's friend, an outlaw, was killed, but he still dreamed of being one himself. After fighting in the Crusades, Robin returns and finds that his father has been murdered, and he's intent on finding his killer. He soon meets up with "Little" John and Friar Tuck along with their merry gang and sets off to avenge his father and protect the townspeople he loves against the lawless Sheriff of Nottingham and Guy Gisburn, a dangerous and sadistic man with power.

Is it any good?

This action-packed origins story of Robin O' the Hood is expertly written, drawn, and colored by three talented artists. The illustrations fit perfectly with the fast-moving nature of the story and neither the words nor the pictures overwhelm the other. The story is an intriguing account of Robin Hood's life -- from his first interaction with an outlaw as a young boy to the grown man he becomes who wants nothing more than to provide for and protect the citizens of Nottingham. The tension between Robin and Gisburn is thick and readers will want to see who ends up victorious in the end.  Teen readers will appreciate this fast paced retelling of the popular myth. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the myth that is Robin Hood. Do you think he was real or strictly an imaginary character? Is there someone that exists today that upholds some of the ideals that Robin Hood did?

  • Why do you think people made up the story of Robin Hood?  What good are myths to a civilization?

  • What other stories of Robin Hood have you seen or read? What versions of the story do you like best?

Book details

For kids who love adventure tales

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