REVIEW: Green Hornet #27

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On the hunt and on the run, can the Green Hornet clear his name and save his city from corruption in the final part of this six-part tale?

GREEN HORNET #27
WRITER: Ande Parks
ARTIST: Ronan Cliquet
LETTERER: Marshall Dillon
COLORIST: Kristy Swan
EDITOR: Joe Rybandt
PUBLISHER: DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT
COVER PRICE: $3.99

Previously in The Green Hornet: The Green Hornet has been framed for murder and abandoned by the people. Now, he’s fighting his way to the top of a conspiracy to destroy himself and Century City.

A LABOR OF MISAPPREHENSION

Vicious thugs, crooked cops, megalomaniacal officials and a mysterious masked man to put them all in their place—a pulp story if there ever were one. Or is it? The book is set in the present day rather than the post-Prohibition period of the Hornet’s origin, so it didn’t feel pulpy enough for my tastes despite having all the tropes of the genre.

Unfortunately, this issue was my first foray into the title and there was no recap page, so I had some trouble with the details of the plot. The writing, however, is unambiguous and functions as a gestalt with the images so it’s easy to pick up the thread of the tale even without specifics—I may not know one guy’s name, but I know he’s a villain and needs to be put down. All-in-all, some kind of “story so far” paragraph would have been an immense aid, though you’re likely not going to buy this issue unless you’ve been keeping up with the story.

I didn’t care for the dialogue—it felt too natural, if there can be such a thing. In my perfect world, the Green Hornet doesn’t run around saying “sonofabitch,” but, then again, in my perfect world everyone in even the most vaguely pulp the comic should sound like one of Murrow’s Boys with a voice booming over the wireless.

POETRY IN MOTION

This issue is, thankfully, about 90 percent beat-em-up. Thankfully, because the art shines brightest when there’s bang-crash action splashing across the page. It suffers, though, during still sequences of dialogue and exposition; the fight action brings the characters to life and pops them off the page, but whenever the movement lags, the art sags with it and looks more cartoonish.

The amount of onomatopoeia from panel to panel occasionally reached Adam West-ian levels and that might turn off some, but I thought “THWAKS” and “KRAKS” lent the story an archaic vibe it desperately needed.

BOTTOM LINE: VAN WILLIAMS IS NOT AMUSED

The Green Hornet is an unreconstructed 1930s pulp character and, as such, he doesn’t fit well into the modern world. Perhaps I’m prejudiced, but I can’t square the Hornet with a world of cell phones and Internets. I’m going to try to get the next issue and start fresh with another story line in case I’ve misjudged the book. Taken as a single issue, though, it’s got fun action and street-level super heroics, but it’s only worth picking up if you’ve been following the arc or are at least a fair-weather fan of the title. Two and a half stars.

Rating: ★★½☆☆