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Early Review: Green Hornet #11

This is one sassy superhero comic.

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The elder Kato leaves Green Hornet and the new Kato to their own devices right when a dangerous new cult, Los Hijos de Santa Muerta, threatens their reputation on the street.

The Good

I love how this comics meld modern superhero aesthetics with the mouthier tone of the pulps that birthed Green Hornet. While they’re still serious about their work, Kato and GH are still a couple of wiseasses and their approach to handling gangs like this cult is refreshingly more worldly than that of your typical do-gooders. Lau’s work is a treat too, reminding me a lot of Neal Adams’ classic style while still keeping its own distinct identity.

The Bad

While it does make for a cute gag, I question if giving the Black Beauty the capability to instantaneously alter its appearance in fact pushes GH’s arsenal too far over the edge in terms of capability. Part of the appeal of the character, as I figure, is that he’s a little more down-to-Earth than that other famous vigilante, Batman, and a chameleon-like car is about as out there as a private Bat jet is.

The Verdict – 4/5

I was skeptical as probably everybody was when Green Hornet was announced for a major revival a few years back. I just didn’t believe that a regular masked vigilante and his Judo-master sidekick were still fresh enough to speak to contemporary audiences. Every Dynamite book I’ve read so far - - from the Lone Ranger to John Carter of Mars - - has always pleasantly defied my expectations by finding sharp new ways to make these classic characters relevant again. Green Hornet is no exception and the strong work in this issue, in particular, has got me excited to check out the movie next month (the one that everybody’s as dubious about as I was about this series, initially.