cover image Jack in the Green

Jack in the Green

Charles de Lint. Subterranean (, $35 (96p) ISBN 978-1-59606-641-0

Renowned urban fantasist de Lint (the Newford series) fumbles this attempt to bring Robin Hood into the barrio. Desperate to save her neighborhood from drug cartels, Luz Chaidez summons a legendary hero: Jack Green, red-haired archer from forests of myth. Luz’s old friend Maria Martinez wants nothing to do with gangs or violence, but she’s drawn to Luz by magic, and to Jack by sexual desire. Maria encourages Jack and his bandits to turn away from targeting avaricious bankers and malign plutocrats, and instead to address problems closer to home. Maria and Luz, though ostensibly the heroines, are eventually pushed aside to give Jack and gangster Pena a posturing macho confrontation between Anglo-Saxon heroism and Latino villainy. Readers will cringe at the stereotypical representations of Latinas, their reliance on the “casual cruelty” of a white male savior, and preening banditos drawn straight from B-movies. (May)