REVIEW: Mark Waid’s Green Hornet #2

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Set during the early 1940s in the city of Chicago, Green Hornet is the story of a hero who stands up against crime and corruption plaguing his city. By day, Britt Reid is the publisher of the Daily Sentinel. At night, he roams the mean streets of Chicago, disguising himself as the Green Hornet. However, Britt Reid is no ordinary hero. While other alter egos fight for the side of good, Green Hornet pretends to be a criminal, gaining the respect of Chicago’s shady underworld. Britt then uses his connections with the Green Hornet to expose criminals and corrupt officials through the Daily Sentinel. With his sidekick Kato, the Green Hornet sets out to hunt down the criminal elements of his city, by pretending to be one.

WaidGH02-Cov-RiveraMARK WAID’s GREEN HORNET #2
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Daniel Indro
Letterer: Troy Peteri
Colorist: Marcio Menyz
Editor: Nick Barrucci
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in Green Hornet: Britt Reid is investigating a gun and dope smuggler Vito Cerelli. As the Green Hornet, Britt finds out the Harbor Commissioner Melvin Penwick is in Vito’s pocket. Britt sends his trusted friend, Mike Axford to investigate Penwick, who gathers enough evidence for Britt’s newspaper. After exposing the Commissioner’s corruption through the press, Britt gets a visit from Governor Lang, who accuses the Daily Sentinel of slander. The scandal causes the Daily Sentinel to lose advertisers and money. When Mike contacts Britt about a big scoop, Mr. Axford is captured. Green Hornet and Kato go to rescue him, only to find out Governor Lang is also working with Vito. Britt Reid exposes the corrupt politician in the Daily Sentinel, saving the paper in the process.

IT IS GOOD TO BE THE VILLAIN

Mark Waid’s Green Hornet #2 continues the harbor story established in the initial issue. With the waterfront in chaos after Governor Lang’s imprisonment, someone sets up explosives and blows up several harbors, railways and other industries throughout Chicago. The police identifies the mastermind of these attacks as “the Voice” who they believe is an alias of the Green Hornet. This is the first time we are introduced to a main adversary for Britt Reid. So far, I like this version of Green Hornet, a classic pulp-hero that keeps the core values of its legacy. Classic heroes such as Green Hornet bring an aura of nostalgia to their comics. Mark Waid has the right idea setting the hero in his native time instead of the present. Although changes in the Green Hornet mythos over the years were done to attract younger readers, it is great to see a comic series return to its roots. One thing this comic lacks is more characterization with Kato, Green Hornet’s sidekick in this series. I like they kept his original Japanese origins but he needs to be less like Batman’s Alfred Pennyworth and more like Batman’s Nightwing. In this issue, he is used by the Green Hornet as cannon fodder and a means to get from one place to another. He also has not used much of this martial arts background in this series so far. With Mark Waid building up to a big showdown, I hope future issues take advantage of Kato’s martial prowess.

1960’S HEROES IN A 1940’S BACKDROP

Daniel Indro does an amazing job bringing the characters and 1940’s Chicago to life on the pages of Mark Waid’s Green Hornet. Britt Reid and Kato bare a striking resemblance to Van Williams and Bruce Lee from the old 1960s television series. Also, the gritty scenery and distinct 1940’s fashion of the characters create dark, pulp tone. However, some characters are harder to distinguish than others. For example, I could not determine the identity of each industry mogul when Britt Reid meets with them because they look very similar. Still, aside from a few minor characters, Daniel Indro introduces many unique character designs into Green Hornet including the German bomb maker.

BOTTOM LINE: A GREAT TRIBUTE TO THE GREEN HORNET

Mark Waid has great vision in regards to classic heroes. He does enough to keep his readers interested without overreaching on plot or sabotaging the original themes. With Daniel Indro providing great designs for characters and scenery, Mark Waid’s Green Hornet is a remarkable tribute to the famed pulp hero.

Rating: ★★★★☆

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