Overview

Green Hornet #4

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Green Hornet #4

Credits

  • Words: Kevin Smith
  • Art: Jonathan Lau
  • Colors: Ivan Nunes
  • Story Title: A Hornet's Nest
  • Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
  • Price: $3.50
  • Release Date: May 26, 2010

Four issues into Kevin Smith’s reimagining/reboot of the Green Hornet mythos and it’s still proving to be an entertaining ride. The only nitpick, however, is the feeling that nothing major has happened yet. In my rational mind, I know this not to be true. We’ve seen the title character in his prime, spanned decades, the recklessness of youth on display and, in the last issue, the death of a legacy character. A lot has occurred, but the pacing seems off or structured differently.  Many readers had a similar issue about ten years ago when reading the first arc of Ultimate Spider-Man, whose main character didn’t appear in costume until issue six or seven. That turned out pretty all right.

Structured originally as a two hour feature film, which is presumably a 120 page screenplay, this overarching story will encompass the first ten issues of this Green Hornet ongoing. The story is fun, the characters are quick and believable (in their settings) and it’s all unfolding organically. With that said though, I can’t shake the feeling that this would read so much better as a trade. I personally hate saying that for 98% of the books I read, but here we are on issue four and our main character has put the costume on for the first time, as the book’s cliffhanger. I know there’s a learning curve involved with an origin story, and your lead has to deny his calling at least once, but it just feels like it’s dragged itself out an extra issue.

This is by no means a reason to drop the book if you’re enjoying the story, just a pesky emotion that had made itself more and more prevalent as the page count grew. As a reader, I’m getting beyond anxious to see young Britt grow into his own that it’s dangerously close to becoming an annoyance. It’s the kind of emotion that long running television shows elicit, like a will they or won’t they type of thing. For a while it’s suspenseful, but carry it on too long and you just want to turn it off. Don’t take that leap, Green Hornet. Let’s move into the rest of the second act in costume and avenging your father’s death.

Jonathan Lau’s pencils from Phil Hester’s layouts are still and consistently top notch. He has a fluidity of motion and attention to detail that is never over rendered or lazy looking. There are some panels that really do look like Alex Ross filtered through an anime machine, but in a good way.

One other story device that came off as jarring towards the end of the issue was the voiceover utilized. Throughout the previous three issues, we’ve heard characters thoughts and inner monologues, but I don’t recall anything like the omniscient narration that happens in this chapter. If so, it previously didn’t seem as noticeable. There’s a small degree of disassociation when reading Britt’s thoughts, but then reading the narration of a common thug as his place of business is getting demolished just seemed out of tune with the rest of the text. There’s a scene with Britt, Jr. sitting amongst his father’s belongings. We know the kinds of thoughts he has going through his head. The situation is one we’ve seen and the art tells the story. An all-knowing narrator just seems unnecessary.

All in all, the series has been a pleasure. Having no previous baggage with the character, it’s a hoot to learn about the past with a newer tale woven throughout. These are just foreseeable problems that could potentially derail a fun story. Problems I hope will not factor into the remaining issues of this arc.

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