Saturday, April 3, 2010

Comic Book Review: Green Hornet #2

Book Information
Written by Kevin Smith
Art by Jonathan Lau

With escalating embarrassment that Britt Reid has to endure due to his son’s careless display of public indecency, he must now host a fund-raiser to boost the low economic status of his newspaper publishing company.  Emotions with Mr. Reid’s family are running high, so an attack on the party guests by a mysterious group of vigilantes was the last thing he needed.  Luckily, a subtly seductive and quiet Asian-American female was at the fund-raiser, who also seems to be a master of martial arts.  I wonder who it could be…

My Thoughts
I assumed that the high price of last month’s issue of the Green Hornet was due to it being the very first issue; apparently that isn’t the case with the 2nd installment.  Despite the $4 price tag, I took the book off the rack at Haley’s Comics and wondered if my sanity had left me.  However, the writing, artwork, drama and comedic stature is worth the price of admission.

This issue delves into the relationship between father and son and approaches the old saying “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”  The inevitable ending to this entire series is obviously moving towards that very thing, but it will take a few more issues for that to be realized.  What is established in this issue however is how the relationship between the two Reids, full of both resentment and care.  Britt Reid Jr., feels as if he constantly lives in the shadow of his father, which leads to his confused state of mind, which leads Britt in taking his anger out on his father; where as Reid Sr. waits for the day when he and his son can have an enjoyable time together that doesn’t become a shouting match.  Reid Jr. goes into some further character development as he defends his father’s honor at the fund raising party.  Seeing as how this Kevin Smith branded script was intended for the big screen anyway, there is a lot of time spent on the characters rather than the action and adventure, but it doesn’t linger on unnecessary dialogue and plot development.

The second half of the book is a little less hefty on conversations between characters and focuses its efforts on kicking, jumping, punching and throwing, which is great!  Kevin Smith got all the story driven aspects out of the way and now takes advantage of his hot new Asian woman knocking out assassins without breaking a sweat…all in high heels nonetheless.  Jonathan Lau takes it a step further with the artistic approach from issue #1, showing off his ability to create incredible action sequences and stunning visuals.  The trails of air and dust from Kato’s cat-like body was a nice added touch, giving the affect of movement at a fast pace and keeping the momentum going.  Along with that, the chaotic moments where people are crashing through glass, breaking helmets, and pummeling through the floor from being thrown downward was amazingly impressive.

This new Kato (We aren’t dummies, we know it’s Kato’s daughter.) seems to be even more kick ass than her father.  I of course am not as familiar with the Green Hornet from my parent’s days, but from what I’ve heard, the Kato of Kevin Smith’s world could probably give her father a run for his money.  I was equally impressed by the moment of nostalgia when Brit Reid Sr. recognized the hornet darts that came from the throwing hands of the mysterious female, as the entire panel went to a green tint.

The attention to those details is truly an inspirational aspect to the book and I can’t wait to see what is in store for us in issue #3.  I hear there will be a significant death huh?

I am a huge fan of nostalgic storylines that are based in the classic and pulp-like days of old.  In the tradition of characters like The Spirit, The Phantom Stranger, and The Phantom, The Green Hornet displays a lot of potential at being one of the best “underdog” comic book events of the year.  Even with the predictable plot line, the story is exceptionally well written and the art is just as good.  Kevin Smith, Jonathan Lau, you are incredible!

Rating: 9 out of 10 stars

Next Issue
In comic books, it's hard to say that anyone ever truly dies; not sidekicks, not arch-nemeses, and not potentially profitable screenplays with high-profile creative reinterpretations. But in the third issue of Kevin Smith's upcoming "Green Hornet" comic, Dynamite Entertainment has announced that one main character will "die forever": The original Green Hornet, Britt Reid, his son Britt Jr., the original Kato, or his daughter, the current Kato.

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