A Hornet’s sting can be a powerful motivator, and so can a nail driven through your foot. Thank goodness Britt Reid is on the side of the Angels. With corruption running rampant on the Police Force, can the Green Hornet and Kato curb this abuse of power? Take the jump Spoilerite, and find out!
Green Hornet: Year One #9
Writer and Art Director: Matt Wagner
Pencils and Inks: Aaron Campbell
Colors: Carlos Lopez
Letters: Simon Bowland
Covers: Matt Wagner and Francesco Francavilla
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Cover Price: $3.99 USD
Previously, in Green Hornet: Year One: Britt Reid publisher of Chicago’s Daily Sentinel has taken up the masked identity of The Green Hornet, along with Kato his sidekick, they terrorize the underworld. In doing so they are viewed as equally evil as those they seek to shut down, and they must remain so, in order for the criminal blight to be erased.
THE HORNETS TALE
Opening on a horrific scene of torture is not the most common way to start a issue, but it’s just a good a place as any to begin with. As Britt, Kato, and Rusty, their go to guy for building machines, attempt to make a electrical Hornet’s sting, something sinister is going on with the Police. There are cops on the beat, that are on the take, and that’s something the Green Hornet, and Kato have to quell, but at what cost?
Right off the bat this is comic is off to a good start, with the torture scene that really reminds me of “Silence of the Lambs” in the way it’s just creepy without being violence porn. The way Britt and Kato are written are exactly how they should be, they haven’t strayed a single bit from the beginning of this series, and under Wagner’s pen I don’t think they will.
The story itself drew me in, and is really in that pulp vein, as Green Hornet should be. The crooked cops, and behind the scenes as Kato uses his mechanical skill to assist Rusty in making the Hornet’s Sting, is good to see. The atmosphere that Wagner sets up with the crooked Police is good, and something that I can’t wait to see pan out, because even if Green Hornet can take down a crooked cop or two, as long as there is one that’s willing to take a piece of the action, there will be no true justice.
THE ART’S NOT TORTURE
The art that’s supplied by Aaron Campbell is just as good as it was when he first started out, and holds the consistency up to a degree that is somewhat lacking in these days of comic book art. The standard of the character models is always there, and maybe some of the credit is due towards Wagner, as well as Campbell, but all around they both deserve a fair share of the credit.
The era of Chicago that Green Hornet is set in is just wonderfully illustrated by Campbell. The use of shadows, and light source is something that works so well for the comic, and echoes a film serial from the 30’s or 40’s, which is exactly the thing that really strikes a nerve with me. The car chase scenes under the elevated train bridge is one of those lavishly illustrated sequences that make you really think of how other comics could live up to that standard.
On another note, the color in this issue is kind of murky and tends to detract from the overall core feel of the book. It’s not as if the pages should be bleached of color, and just presented black and white, while they’d still look good, no one needs go that far. It’s just that in certain sequences that color looked rushed, like within the as said above car chase sequence.
I’LL ROLL WITH KATO
This comic is a constant performer. It doesn’t show any sign of slowing down, it’s long and consistent narrative has ensnared me, and I don’t want to shake it loose. Though this issue has really only one thing that really sets it apart from the others, that being the torture sequence that is in the beginning of this issue. But the previous issues had their moments.
If you are looking for a comic that on a regular basis is able to deliver interesting, and gorgeous characters, as well as almost magical backgrounds, than look no further than the continuing adventures of the Green Hornet and Kato in their Year One epic. Bottom line, Green Hornet: Year One #9, receives 4 Stars, out of 5.