The Green Hornet is not a man… The Green Hornet is a legend. Your Major Spoilers review of Green Hornet #1 awaits!
Writer: Amy Chu
Artist: German Erramouspe
Colorist: Brittany Pezzillo
Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Editor: Anthony Marques
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Green Hornet: “Britt Reid Jr., the scion of the Daily Sentinel publishing empire, vanishes during a wild party on his friend’s yacht. Meanwhile, crime spikes in the streets of Century City with the mysterious criminal/secret vigilante the Green Hornet absent. It’s only a matter of time before SOMEONE puts two and two together, and it’s up to Kato, former partner of Britt’s father, and his daughter Mulan to protect the city AND the Green Hornet legacy, while finding out what happened to Britt.”
WHERE IS THE GREEN HORNET?
I really enjoy the opening pages of this story, featuring a pocket tour of the Green Hornet’s arsenal and hidden base, all narrated by Hayashi Kato, ruminating about the fact that the Green Hornet is not, and has never been, just a man. He is, instead, a symbol and whether one believes him to be villain or hero, he stands for something in Century City: An impediment to crime. That’s all changed now that Britt Reid, Jr. has gone missing, and Hayashi finds that his hands are full running The Daily Sentinel, while his daughter Mulan has no one to partner with. Worse still, the news that the Hornet is missing has also gone public, leading criminals large and small to take up their own green mask and hat and try to fill the void and/or their pockets in the name of the Green Hornet. Realizing that The Green Hornet is not “just a man”, Hayashi prepares to return to action as mysterious masked driver in black…
…because his daughter is about to take up the mantle of The Green Hornet.
SETTING THE TONE WELL
I’ve been a Green Hornet fan since the early 1990s when reruns were available on TV and the Now Comics revival was in full (albeit confusing) swing, and so I’m really psyched to see another new take on the character. This issue does a really good job of world-building, making sure that Century City isn’t just another ersatz Gotham and that the Hornet’s role is defined by the events of the story, rather than falling back on knowledge of the character or previous stories. Chu’s script does some really nice things for Hayashi, showing us that even at his advanced age, he’s a smart, philosophical type of guy, befitting someone who is essentially a geriatric Bruce Lee. As for Mulan Kato, she spends most of this issue in the shadows, with the final page reveal of her new green costume serving as a moment that COULD have been a big shocking reveal, if it weren’t completely outlined in the preview material. On the art side, things look really solid here, with Erramouspe feeling a bit like Phil Hester (especially during his run on Green Arrow, color-appropriately) in some places, but maintaining a life and style all its own.
BOTTOM LINE: ENDS SOMEWHAT ABRUPTLY
I am bothered by the issue’s rather abrupt ending, especially given how smoothly the introduction to Hayashi’s day-to-day life is, but this issue has a lot of interesting possibilities and sets them up in a compelling manner. Green Hornet #1 is an interesting new take on the legacy aspect of the Hornet family, and my fervent hope is that it won’t be swept aside like several previous interesting Hornets and Katos have been, earning a more-than-respectable 3.5 out of 5 stars overall. I’m in it just for the idea of seeing this heroic legacy in the hands of a female protagonist, but it’s nice to see the ideas well-conceived and well-executed…
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