The Real Green Hornet
I've been a Green Hornet fan for quite a while now, ever since I saw him, and Kato appear in the re-runs of the 60's Green Hornet TV series, staring Van Williams as the Green Hornet, and Bruce Lee as Kato, but more so after their appearance in the re-runs of the 60's Batman TV series staring Adam West. I was however only a small fan then, and it wasn't until Kevin Smith's Green Hornet came out that I started to like the character more, as I loved that run, but dropped it after he left. I have however decided to get a Green Hornet series once more due to a fabulous writer like Mark Waid working on the Green Hornet, and not just the Green Hornet, the original/real Green Hornet.
Britt Reid is the owner of the Chicago newspaper company the Daily Sentinel, but by night he's the Green Hornet, and along with his sidekick Kato he fights crime by pretending to be a criminal himself.
This was a brilliant first issue, and although it wasn't startlingly good, it was a brilliant start to the series, and I hope it continues to be as good as this. Mark Waid is a amazing and I don't think there's anything of his that I've read that I didn't like, having enjoyed his run's on Captain America, The Flash (only read the Return of Barry Allen story), and the more recent Daredevil, and Indestructible Hulk, and so far this is no exception. Although not a breathtakingly brilliant issue, this was still a very good opening issue, that did an amazing job of introducing the characters, as well as giving some action, and excitement, and although as I said it wasn't breathtakingly brilliant, it was good enough to keep me hooked, and wanting more, and I'm sure that before too long this will be a phenomenal series. What I've liked most about Waid's writing over the last couple of years is that no matter whether it's Daredevil, Hulk, or Green Hornet he's writing, he seems to put focus on the secret identity, and not fully on the superhero, whilst also keeping the hero involved, and keeping the stories fresh and dynamic, which I've enjoyed. I also enjoyed that Waid was able to put a lot of emotion into this issue, as although he's shown Britt as a strong minded person, who knows what needs done, he's also added emotion to that, by putting him in questionable situations.
I wasn't too sure on what I thought of the artwork in this issue to start with, but I've kind of grown to like it as the issue progresses, and felt that Daniel Indro did a brilliant job. I've not seen any of Indro's art before, as due to most of his work being through Dynamite Entertainment, a company that I get only a small selection of series from, I've not had chance to see it, but after reading this issue, although I wasn't too sure for the most part, by the end I liked it, and felt that the dark gritty tone suited this style of series. The detail in Indro's art was also very good, and although there was the odd imperfection here and there it was overall very well detailed. The layout was also done brilliantly, as everything looked to be in the right place, giving a very dramatic, and dynamic tone to the artwork. The colours from Marcio Menyz were also outstanding, and they really made Indro's art come to life, making it feel more vibrant, and also adding the right tone to suit the style of this series.
One of the things I liked the most with the return of the original Green Hornet was that you had the Green Hornet acting like a criminal once more, which was something that I missed whilst reading Smith's newer version of the Green Hornet. I always liked the fact that the Green Hornet fought crime by becoming a criminal himself, and getting in with the criminal organization, as this was something that was very different, and I don't think that there's been any crime fighters that have done this since.
There were another couple of things about the storytelling that I liked in this issue, so I thought I'd get them out of the way as well. I really liked how the story was mainly told through narrative from the Green Hornet himself, and although there are many series that tell there stories in this fashion, I felt that the way Waid used it in this issue was more unique, and helped the telling of the story perfectly, as it made it move much smoother, and overall made the story better. I also liked how it felt like the TV series as in this was a one shot story, but one that left the bigger picture open, as this made the issue feel much more unique, and confined, and although I don't know if this is how the series will continue, I can say that it was a nice way to start.
This didn't really do much to the story, but another thing I liked about this issue was the way that you got covers of newspapers, telling you when something big went down, as with Britt owns, and runs a newspaper, it's only fitting that when something big happens in the series that it's shown as a big headline on a newspaper, and I personally felt that this was a nice touch, and hope that this is a regular feature of the series.
As I said earlier in my review, the two sides of Britt were shown perfectly in this issue, and that was the thing I liked the most. Waid has done a brilliant job in the past of shining the light on the alter ego, but he also manages to do this whilst including their crime fighting persona brilliantly, and this was no different, and in my opinion the best he's handled so out of them. What I loved about it was that you could see the two different sides, and that although Britt, and the Green Hornet were the same people, they had very different personalities, which was brilliant, and a thing I liked in all superhero's that keep their identity a secret. Another thing that I liked was that his staff felt that the Green Hornet was nothing but a bad criminal, as this helped show that the way he fights crime is safe, and although it doesn't necessarily put him in the good books of the public, or the authorities, it does help keep his sting operation open. At the same time I also liked Britt's relationship with his staff, and that he'd put himself in the way to protect them, which was nice, and again showed his overall character perfectly.
Kato's involvement in this was also brilliant, and just as Green Hornet was written perfectly, so was Kato. What I like about Kato as a character is that he knows that he's the sidekick/assistant, so he doesn't speak to often, doing as he's told. What however makes Kato shine is that although he's quiet he's very deadly, being the much better fighter out of the two, but still not taking the limelight away from Green Hornet, which shows that he's disciplined. Overall Waid has done a fantastic job of writing all the characters, having their characteristics down to a T, but it's the way he writes Green Hornet, and Kato that has stood out to me, which is natural considering they're the main characters, but all the same I'm still happy about it.
I though I'd finish by leaving a small comment about The Shadow reference. During the issue Green Hornet mentions the Shadow, which I liked as with the Masks series being out there is the vibe that in following the likes of Marvel, and DC Comics that the Dynamite masked hero's are from the same universe, making the hero population featured in Dynamite feel even more connected, which is nice.
A brilliant first issue for what I'm sure will be a phenomenal series. For anyone that's either a fan of the TV series, or the original Green Hornet in general, you'll be happy to know that he's back in a very interesting, and dramatic series, which is also very entertaining, and dynamic. Also for any fans of Mark Waid, this is the perfect series for you as it shows the brilliant unique style he brings to anything he works on, and overall is plain fabulous. I would easily recommend this to anyone, as it's the best jumping on point for both new and old fans of the Green Hornet.