High Five! Comics

The Green Hornet #1: Not Your Grandpa’s Hornet

Posted on: March 4, 2010

About six months ago I got into this weird Bruce Lee phase where I pretty much fell asleep watching Enter the Dragon every night. After tiring of that, I went around checking out his other projects, eventually watching a bit of him on the 1966 TV show, The Green Hornet. At the conclusion of the first episode, I immediately thought, “Shit, this would make an amazing comic. I wonder if it’s been adapted before?” I’m an idiot, of course it was! Holyoke and Harvey Comics had a 47 issue run from 1940-1949, Dell Comics had a one-shot in 1953, Gold Key Comics had a three-issue run in 1967 (oooh, Silver Age), and NOW Comics had a ton of books in the 90s. Then, I found something that excited the crap out of me: Kevin Smith was turning his unused Green Hornet screenplay into an eponymous ten-issue limited series on Dynamite Entertainment. GASP!

The next day, I got distracted by something shiny (probably a Cylon) and totally forgot about it.

Fast forward to today! Walking into my local comic shop, I notice something sitting on the shelf. Instantly, excitement washes over me. I snatched it up and, well, it was pretty much everything I hoped for.

This issue tells a tale of Britt Reid, the original Green Hornet, taking out the final two gangs in town and deciding that it’d be a good time to retire, never telling his son about his double life. Skip ahead to present day and we’re introduced to Britt Reid Jr., who seems like kind of a jackass. You know, it’s kind of a typical first issue. But that’s fine! It’s adapted from a screenplay and the first fifth of any movie is all introductory this and back story that, so why should a comic be any different?

Speaking of the writing, Kevin Smith pretty much just handles story and lighthearted dialogue (which, might I add, is a perfect match to the banter from the old shows). Dynamite has also revealed that Smith has all ready turned in all ten scripts, so we’re not going to have to worry about any Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do-style delays or anything. The real magic lies in the team up of frequent Smith collaborator Phil Hester’s scripting of the action sequences and Dynamite veteran Jonathan Lau’s artwork. The first two pages of the book are a gorgeous, nearly dialogue-less introduction of Green Hornet’s car, the Black Beauty, and that alone was enough to get me excited to read the book. Plus, the incentive covers by John Cassaday, Steven Segovia, J. Scott Campbell, and Alex Ross couldn’t hurt, either.

I’m recommending picking up this book in the high hopes that this next generation of Green Hornet is every bit as entertaining as the one my father (or grandfather, for that matter) grew up with and, judging by what I’ve seen thus far, it seems highly likely.


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