‘I’ll be dishing the dirt on life with Bob Hood’ - Ms Hood.
Special power: Indoor outlaw
Comic Release Date: Dec 2014
Ms Hood (dates of birth and death unknown) is usually represented by Maid Marian, a posh girl from an aristocratic household who throws in her lot with Robin and the Outlaws of Sherwood Forest.
The truth is that she flits in and out of the old ballads and folk traditions in various guises, from May Queen and Shepherdess to personification of the Virgin Mary, like the unpredictable free spirit she (probably) was.
Taking her cues from Carol Ann Duffy’s poetry collection The World’s Wife (1999), which told the stories of various heroes and villains from the viewpoints of their women-folk, Ms Hood plans to tell her own version of the Robin Hood tales, updated for a new era of banking crises, unemployment, laptops and high street chains, all in the shadow of the Sheriff’s old haunt of Nottingham’s Castle Rock.
Duffy isn’t the only source for a fresh take on Ms Hood’s adventures, either. Tony Robinson’s children’s TV sitcom Maid Marian and Her Merry Men (1989 – 1994) imagined Marian as the brains behind an inept Robin, while fantasy author Clayton Emery’s Robin & Marian stories present the outlaw couple as amateur detectives solving mysteries.
Ms Hood Facts
1: Duffy’s The World’s Wife takes its cues from Anne Sexton’s Transformations (1971), in which Sexton revises fairy tales to reflect the viewpoints of their female characters.
2: In the English folk ballad Robin Hood’s Birth, Breeding, Valour and Marriage, first published in 1716, Robin’s love interest is not Marian but a shepherdess named Clorinda.
3: Theresa Tomlinson offers a feminist retelling of Maid Marian’s story in a trilogy of novels: The Forestwife (1993), Child of the May (1998) and The Path of the She Wolf (2000).
4: In Walt Disney’s animated cartoon version of Robin Hood, made in 1973, Robin and Marian are represented by masculine and feminine foxes.
5: An anime version of the Robin Hood story, Robin Hood no Daibōken (Robin Hood’s Great Adventure) ran for 52 episodes on Japanese TV between 1990 and 1992.