Overview

Kevin Smith's Green Hornet #8

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Kevin Smith's Green Hornet #8

Credits

  • Words: Kevin Smith
  • Art: Jonathan Lau
  • Colors: Ivan Nunes
  • Story Title: The Hornet's Nest
  • Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Oct 13, 2010

Issue number eight of Dynamite Entertainment’s Kevin Smith infused rebirth of the Green Hornet is a slick and refreshing superhero comic book. It’s got good guys, bad guys, solid action, dramatic tension and even the heinous villain describing his treacherous plot. In other words, it’s old school fun.

After a meandering few middle issues, this title seems to be back on track. The jarring story elements and misplaced omniscient voices are nowhere to be found. What lies inside is nothing but pulpy fiction. Smith’s dialogue is pithy and not overwritten. Previous issues read wooden in spots almost as though the story was trying to find the correct pace before your eyes.  This book had a lot of hurtles to clear and in issue eight looks to have finally found the right rhythm. With only two issues left in this first story, though, is it too late?

As always, Jonathan Lau’s pencils are kinetic and fluid. Somewhere around issue five, Lau’s work became a little less focused and hard to follow in spots. To his defense, so did the pace of the story. Here, with the third act in full swing, he’s firing on all cylinders, really having a ball with the characters. The Black Hornet design really pops off the page in a fun, anti-Hornet way. The new Green Hornet versus a perverted version of his father’s costume packs more of an emotional and visual punch than I imagined it would. 

Many loose ends get tied up here in preparation for the final act. Our villain’s entire plot is made apparent to the heroes and they realize that they’re out of their depth. There’s high tension and gigantic typewriters. What more can you ask for?

With all the good this episode provides comes along all the baggage of bad that this title has accumulated over the past eight months. A joyful, but rocky start to the series didn’t prove to be a stumbling block, but a much larger problem. A problem that is only now starting to level itself out with only a few issues left. It’s no secret that this series is being adapted from Kevin Smith’s un-produced Green Hornet film. Though the overall story structure is similar between movies and comics, there is a wildly different delivery of pace. Creating twenty-two pages of comic does not translate into twenty-two pages of a script, or twenty-two minutes of screen time. Finding this balance while also trying to make a single issue satisfying in and of itself while servicing a larger story is difficult to say the least. With such a rigid outline before starting, I fear the creators didn’t allow themselves enough room for the story to breathe. Reading all eight issues back-to-back is a fine experience, but leaves much to be desired in monthly installments. Looking back, there are many things that make perfect sense in script form, but were out of place in the more visual comic medium.

At the end of the day, this has been a worthy heir to the Green Hornet mythos. A fine extension of the classic character and a solid origin story. However, I hope that the next time an opportunity like this arises, the creators throw out any preexisting finished piece, take the bare outline and let the story happen. There are places here that stifle and I think it could’ve been avoided.

 

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