Green Hornet

Green Hornet Annual 1 (September 2010)

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What a pointless fill-in issue. Maybe the regular series was shipping late?

Hester doesn’t do a terrible job–he certainly is able to pace the annual better than the regular series–but it just fills in a question or two no one asked about the original series.

What happened to Britt’s girlfriend and what happened to his kickboxing. I’m not sure either question needed to be answered.

The annual does expand on the mythos a little, establishing the Green Hornet as being more interested in rehabilitation than punishment. He lets this teenage lookout go (as a bemused Kato watches) and the kid grows up to be his son’s kickboxing coach. Oh, what a small world.

Unfortunately, Hester’s writing of the Britt character doesn’t match Smith’s in terms of dialogue. Hester’s Britt is a lot more eloquent and self-aware.

It’s disposable and pointless, but not bad. Art’s nice too.

CREDITS

The Straight and Narrow/i>; writer, Phil Hester; pencillers, Carlos Rafael and Michael Netzer; inkers, Rafael and Josef Rubinstein; colorist, Carlos Lopez; letterer, Troy Peteri; editor, Joseph Rybandt; publisher, Dynamite Entertainment.

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Green Hornet 10 (December 2010)

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Smith finally figures out how to pace a comic book. It’s a shame he does it for his last issue.

There’s a lot more Smith-type humor in this issue, which both works and doesn’t. As for his revelation Mulan is a lesbian….

It opens up certain possibilities but closes off a bunch of other ones. He also does it at the very end of the issue so he can turn it into a joke instead of having to deal with it. Given he just got done having the original Kato (oh, yeah, he survived… no explanation) avenge the original Hornet, one would assume Smith would want to establish a strong relationship between the characters.

But no, he just turns it into a joke.

What’s worse, he finally got chemistry between the characters (he was being too clean before).

It’s a harmless series. It might even develop into something good.

CREDITS

It’s in the Blood; writer, Kevin Smith; artists, Phil Hester and Jonathan Lau; colorist, Ivan Nunes; letterer, Troy Peteri; editor, Joseph Rybandt; publisher, Dynamite Entertainment.

Green Hornet 9 (November 2010)

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Ugh. What’s worse than Smith doing three action scenes and calling it an issue? Doing one and, essentially, a chase sequence and calling it an issue.

Sure, there’s some of his banter between Britt and Mulan, but it’s barely banter.

What’s far more interesting about this issue is the supervillains. The young Japanese guy has turned into an outrageous villain, something Smith avoided prepping. Either he skipped it due to space concerns or because, while it works, it’s exceptionally anti-Japanese. Smith’s villain is a too smart man-child out to destroy the U.S. because of WWII. Except he can’t even concentrate long enough for that plan–too many video games, presumably–because he’s so moronic he needs to risk his business profits killing the Green Hornet… and orphans.

Smith actually gives Mulan some character here, but it’s too little, too late.

I think the issue reads in three minutes.

CREDITS

Orphans; writer, Kevin Smith; artists, Phil Hester and Jonathan Lau; colorist, Ivan Nunes; letterer, Troy Peteri; editor, Joseph Rybandt; publisher, Dynamite Entertainment.

Green Hornet 8 (October 2010)

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Smith requires the reader to forget everything he or she has learned about Kato in the previous seven issues and assume he’s an idiot. He’s an idiot and he gets killed because he acts like an idiot, not a genius strategist.

The entire issue is something of a wash. For example, the corrupt mayor who gets Britt Sr. killed gets killed immediately after being revealed, saving any morally dubious outcome. Then there’s the way Smith paces the action scenes. The first one resolves the last issue’s cliffhanger and rolls into the second action scene, which rolls into the cliffhanger.

Since it’s based on a screenplay, it’s Smith revving up for the third act. He’s been having these adaptation problems since the first issue, so it’s not really a surprise.

It’s sort of unfortunate though. Smith’s dialogue and the general likability of Britt (young Tony Stark grows up) have garnered sympathy.

CREDITS

The Sting; writer, Kevin Smith; artists, Phil Hester and Jonathan Lau; colorist, Ivan Nunes; letterer, Troy Peteri; editor, Joseph Rybandt; publisher, Dynamite Entertainment.

Green Hornet 7 (September 2010)

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Smith does a little bit more with this issue. He at least brings in the bigger storyline with the bickering father and son Japanese supervillains. Smith’s very obviously influenced by the Burton Batman movies here in terms of plot. Regardless of what problems the two have, Smith’s cast his Britt Reid into Burton’s Bruce Wayne’s movie adventures. This issue’s party mimics Batman Returns‘s to a certain degree and the whole thing just feels like Batman with a different costume.

Again, a lack of character development for Mulan this issue. It’s seemingly inevitable she and Britt will get romantically involved, but perhaps Smith isn’t going for the eventuality… as he’s not doing any prep work for it.

The arc (it’s ongoing, right?) should be wrapping up, but Smith hasn’t done much with the story in terms of epical drama. Britt’s change is too forced (and abbreviated).

Still, it’s a readable curiosity.

CREDITS

The Son Also Rises; writer, Kevin Smith; artists, Phil Hester and Jonathan Lau; colorist, Ivan Nunes; letterer, Troy Peteri; editor, Joseph Rybandt; publisher, Dynamite Entertainment.

Green Hornet 6 (July 2010)

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Smith’s doing the movie montage in full effect this issue. He’s even got a wacky sidekick for the Green Hornet–a white guy who acts Chinese. I think it’s supposed to be hilarious.

Smith frames the issue around Britt’s training, his first crime fighting efforts and his costume.

There’s some bickering with Mulan too (it’s not really right to call her Kato since the comic’s full of Katos–how Smith is avoiding a Kaelin is beyond me).

The issue lacks narrative drive. Smith doesn’t bring the Japanese supervillains back into this issue, so it’s just the Green Hornet and Kato taking out random criminals. I know Smith’s goal is to show the reader how much Britt is changing… but he’s doing movie montage. This issue should have taken up five or six pages, not an twenty-some.

It’s not like the characters have any charm, so why read about them?

CREDITS

Wearing o’ the Green; writer, Kevin Smith; artists, Phil Hester and Jonathan Lau; colorist, Ivan Nunes; letterer, Troy Peteri; editor, Joseph Rybandt; publisher, Dynamite Entertainment.

Green Hornet 5 (June 2010)

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It’s interesting Smith made the villains the Japanese, which makes the comic seem dated… even if it takes place in the future. Smith’s never made the time period work.

This issue is–except the villain reveal–an all action issue. It shows off the Black Beauty’s technology (for those unaware, the Black Beauty is the Green Hornet’s car)–it can go faster than a rocket and it has a huge magnet for sucking the guns out of bad guys’ hands. And nose piercings. Though I swear the nose piercing thing is from something else.

As an all action issue, it’s weak. Smith does a fight scene, a chase scene, another chase scene, a fight scene. In between Kato (Mulan) explains to Britt how the Green Hornet works and doesn’t work. The characters have zero chemistry, mostly because Kato talks in declarative statements.

Smith doesn’t even plug his latest plot hole.

CREDITS

Crash Course; writer, Kevin Smith; artists, Phil Hester and Jonathan Lau; colorist, Ivan Nunes; letterer, Troy Peteri; editor, Joseph Rybandt; publisher, Dynamite Entertainment.

Green Hornet 4 (May 2010)

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Smith sure does have his way of prolonging things. This issue opens with the reveal of the Hornet Cave (or whatever they call it) from last issue. Then there’s some flashback while Kato’s describing the history of the Green Hornet to Britt–in other words, the first issue’s prologue is a total waste of pages since Smith is doing regular flashbacks in the series.

Then the female Kato–Mulan–shows up and she and her dad, Kato Kato, ship Britt off to China for safe keeping. Where he’ll be met by another Kato. Having this league of Katos is somewhat boring and Smith will undoubtedly explain it eventually, but getting it over with sooner than later might make one think about its silliness less.

The cliffhanger’s decent, but it doesn’t make any sense in terms of timeline or logic. Smith’s going too much for cinematic effect. It’s hurting his writing.

CREDITS

A Hornet’s Nest; writer, Kevin Smith; artists, Phil Hester and Jonathan Lau; colorists, Ivan Nunes, Bruno Hang and Adriano Lucas; letterer, Troy Peteri; editor, Joseph Rybandt; publisher, Dynamite Entertainment.

Green Hornet 3 (April 2010)

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Forget everything nice I said about Smith’s pacing. This issue is a fast, empty read (no pun intended).

Smith introduces a narration here–it’s close third person, inside Britt Jr.’s head. The issue also features the death of Britt Sr., so I can just start calling Britt Jr. Britt.

It’s a bold move for a movie–undoubtedly Smith wanted a big star for the original Green Hornet–but for a comic book, again, it doesn’t work quite right. It’s not a big deal, the way he paces out the story. Smith doesn’t even deal with the female Kato, he just has her around for a bit, then brings back an aged Kato to mentor Britt. Presumably.

Smith does come up with good breakpoints. They’re not cliffhangers, just ending points. In other words… he’s doing a good job adapting his screenplay at times, but the content doesn’t fit a comic.

CREDITS

Sins of the Father; writer, Kevin Smith; artists, Phil Hester and Jonathan Lau; colorist, Ivan Nunes; letterer, Simon Bowland; editor, Joseph Rybandt; publisher, Dynamite Entertainment.

Green Hornet 2 (March 2010)

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Smith’s Green Hornet script is based on his unproduced screenplay and it shows this issue. Not in a bad way–Smith comes up with an amazing action sequence with a female Kato in an evening gown using her heels both as weapons and as hooks–but it’s nothing special for a comic book.

The issue actually has quite a bit of content–there are lengthy talking heads scenes with Britt Sr. as he does an expository newspaper meeting (great way of doing exposition, though I’m sure Spider-Man and Superman have done it many times in the past) and then Britt Sr. and Britt Jr. having lunch. Oh, and Britt Sr. and the possibly corrupt mayor.

So Smith’s not being lazy, not even with the big action sequence at the end (it would be better with someone less glossy than Lau). It’s just not a comic book. The pacing’s wrong.

CREDITS

Happily Ever After; writer, Kevin Smith; artists, Phil Hester and Jonathan Lau; colorist, Ivan Nunes; letterer, Simon Bowland; editor, Joseph Rybandt; publisher, Dynamite Entertainment.

Green Hornet 1 (March 2010)

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I’m guessing, from Smith’s use of pop culture references, it’s going to be a future story. Because in the past, he’s got Indiana Jones references and a white guy calling his hat “pimp.” So the present day stuff must be in the future.

Or maybe the editor just doesn’t care. Does Dynamite even have editors?

This first issue recounts the last adventure of the original Green Hornet, who will presumably be the father of the modern Green Hornet (or future modern Green Hornet). The most the presumed new Green Hornet does in this issue is moon the reporters. It seems a lot like the opening to Innerspace, actually, as he does it after his girlfriend leaves.

Lau’s artwork is really, really polished. It’s very professional and very boring.

Smith’s prologue idea is weak (his conversations don’t carry weight if it’s the characters’ only scene), but it’s not awful… just pointless.

CREDITS

Night and Day; writer, Kevin Smith; artists, Phil Hester and Jonathan Lau; colorist, Ivan Nunes; letterer, Simon Bowland; editor, Joseph Rybandt; publisher, Dynamite Entertainment.