Overview

Green Hornet: Year One #2

Review

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Green Hornet: Year One #2

Credits

  • Words: Matt Wagner
  • Art: Aaron Campbell
  • Inks: Aaron Campbell
  • Colors: Francesco Francavilla
  • Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Apr 14, 2010

Green Hornet: Year One #2 picks up right where issue one left off.  The Green Hornet and Kato continue defending their city from Boss Caruso and his thugs in 1930s Chicago.  This time, they thwart a major gun-running organization by rounding up Caruso’s henchmen and driving their new shipment into the river.  At the same time, we learn about the Green Hornet’s and Kato’s pasts, and the circumstances of their pasts that lead them to become the heroes that they are.  The two storylines run parallel to each other as we constantly move between past and present.

Instead of two linear storylines about the Green Hornet or Kato, Matt Wagner ties the two timelines together, by introducing a third that involves them both together.  It was a great decision to tell the story this way, as it serves to provide the book with a sense of cohesiveness and makes it flow very nicely.  The “present” (1938) acts as the main driving tempo, as it unfolds in a very linear fashion and occurs exclusively in Chicago over a short period of time.  The flashbacks, on the other hand, jump forward through time very quickly and often feature drastic changes in environment.  The segments of “present” story serve as breaks between flashbacks and signify the passage of time.  Wagner, colorist Francesco Francavilla and artist Aaron Campbell use this device flawlessly, utilizing colors and blacks to emphasize the noir quality in the present and the nostalgic feel in the flashbacks.  Scenes in the Chicago setting have very strong shadows, and the figures lack a variety of colors, as they are only illuminated by the dull glow of the night lights.  The scenes from the past feature a wider variety of colors and feature bright backgrounds.  The reader is able to pick up on the passage of time and the general tone of each scene very easily. 

I must compliment the creative time on the subtle way that they accomplish this.  While there are noticeable differences between the two time periods, the entire story as a whole maintains a cohesive feel.  The transitions don’t take readers out of the story which, again, is incredibly essential to the story’s flow.   I also appreciate that what’s going on in the present doesn’t really relate to the happenings in the past.  A lot of stories that feature flashbacks make it so something in the present reminds the character, or the reader, of an event in the past, which triggers the flashback.  In Green Hornet: Year One, this is not the case.  It makes each storyline exist independently, which strengthens each story.  At no time does the past blend into the present or vice versa.  As a result, the reader is able to form his or her own conclusions about how the events of Green Hornet or Kato’s past shape them into the people they become. 

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