Saturday, May 15, 2010

Comic Book Reviews: Kato #1

Book Information
Written by Ande Parks
Art by Ale Garza & Diego Bernard
Colored by Leonardo-MLK & PC Siqueira
Lettered by Bill Tortolini
Cover by Joe Benitez

My Awe-Inspiring Opinion
Kevin Smith has sparked an interest in Dynamite to run with their Green Hornet franchise, establishing his rejected movie script in the comic book world and making it a part of the canonization in the Green Hornet legacy.  This 1st issue brings us the beginnings of Kato’s daughter and briefly shows the tragic death of someone very close to Kato.

Green Hornet was a product of a much campier radio broadcasting era where popular broadcasts like the Shadow and Abbot and Costello were flooding the broadcast waves.  Dynamite is attempting to bring in a darker and more serious approach, as most comics do these days, to the Green Hornet.  This story draws upon the classic American martial arts films involving family tension and the death of someone close.  Parks’ story reminded me very much of the origin of Splinter, where an emotionally scared individual comes to take vengeance on a good man by way of killing his wife.  Kato’s daughter is no doubt the Splinter of this story who will eventually seek vengeance for her mother’s murder.  We’ll have to see what twists and turns Parks takes with Mulan.

The dialogue pulls on the elements of the past and aspects of the future.  Kato still pays homage to the meditative state of his youth, much to the dismay of his daughter who is just as connected to her cell phone and the materialistic foundations of a modern age.  Hirohito Juuma draws upon both, focus on his upbringing of honor within the martial arts but embraces the technological advances of today.  This is not anything new, but it does seem to be very appropriate for the story itself.

Garza and Bernard’s artistic approach is good while being over sexualized.  I realize that most comic book heroes and heroines are made to have that sexual appeal, but this takes it a tad too far.  I’m not speaking of the blatantly nude scene with implied sexual relations; I’m referring to the beautifully sculpted bodies on both the male and female side of things.  I can’t imagine living in a world where ugly people cease to exist.  Mulan’s own mother looks younger than her!

My Profoundly Climactic Conclusion
All in all, Kato #1 is a fun read.  Good writing and above average art.  However, I’m not sure I’ll be picking up Next months installment.

Writing: 7.5
Themes: 8.5
Art: 6

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