Overview

The Green Hornet #1

Review

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The Green Hornet #1

Credits

  • Words: Mark Waid
  • Art: Daniel Indro
  • Colors: Márcio Menyz
  • Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Mar 27, 2013

Mark Waid’s pulp-era relaunch of “the world’s first super-criminal” rethinks Britt Reid’s role as the Green Hornet.

One of the absolute coolest superhero hooks about the Green Hornet a lot of people seem to forget is that to the world at large – to the city he protected – he wasn’t a hero at all but a fearsome criminal mastermind. More than Batman, more than Spider-Man, the people of his city feared the Green Hornet as they did no other criminal or outlaw.

This is a fact writer Mark Waid establishes within the first few pages of Dynamite’s ongoing period relaunch of the popular pulp hero. Even faster than he reminds us of the Hornet’s villainous alter ego though, Waid unveils his new approach to the perennial fan-favorite character, essentially a renewed focus on Britt Reid, the newspaper mogul and his role in bringing down agents of crime and corruption in pulp-era Chicago.

Waid’s approach to the character makes perfect sense and dovetails nicely into the rich history of the character. While recent film and comics treatments have either portrayed Reid as a bumbling fool (Come on, who else thinks that Rogen-driven farce should’ve been called The Green Kato?!) or a high-tech Robin Hood driven by vengeance, Waid’s take on the Hornet’s civic-minded alter-ego fits in neatly with both the period and the source material.

The power of newspaper publishers has been diluted in the modern age by technology and an undeniable trend of corporate convergence. Gone are the days of the family-run, big city newspaper. As Waid notes in the opening page of his story, today the media reaches its audience via expansive “outlets” and networks. Back in the day though, the power of the publisher was akin to that of the ancient bards – their words carried such potency they could bring down kingdoms and empires.

Helping Waid realize his singular vision of the Green Hornet is the talented Daniel Indro. With a spot-on use of period reference and a playful use of panel angles, Indro creates a lush, full visual tone that only elevates the overall reading experience of this issue. There’s a certain weight to his work that seems lacking in the over-produced fare occupying much of the shelf-space today. Evoking the more illustrative style favored by artists in the Golden Age of adventure strips (if lacking some of their fluidity and finesse), Indro’s solid rendering of both his period and subjects truly anchors Waid’s plot to its setting.

With strong art from Indro and industry icon Waid elevating his game as befits a character of such pedigree, Dynamite’s new ongoing will without a doubt position The Green Hornet at the forefront of cutting edge superhero fare.

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