Review: Green Hornet #7

Published on September 5th, 2010

Kevin Smith has proven himself time and again in comics.  From Daredevil to Green Arrow to Spider-Man/Black Cat to Batman, he’s shown that while he may not be the most punctual of creators (*cough*Daredevil/Bullseye*cough*) he is definitely talented.

His latest comic book is Green Hornet, published by Dynamite Entertainment, with art by Jonathan Lau.  A few years ago Smith was planning the film version of the Green Hornet but eventually left the project which has since been taken over by Michel Gondry and is hitting theaters in January, 2011.  This comic series is what Smith had envisioned for his film version of the Hornet.

hornet-cover

This series is not really about the original Green Hornet, Britt Reid, but takes place years after Britt retires.  He’s eventually killed and his son, Britt Jr. (think a male version of Paris Hilton), takes over the mantle of the Green Hornet with the help of the original Kato and his daughter Mulan who is the new partner for Britt Jr.’s Hornet.

The series in general felt a bit drawn out between #’s 2-4, but, started picking up around issue 5.  Those earlier issues weren’t really slow, there was tons of action, but they felt like maybe they could have been compressed into fewer issues.  Since issue 5 though, the series has really started moving forward and coming into its own.

Issue 7 showed Britt Jr. and Mulan continuing to hammer the crime families of Century City as Green Hornet and Kato.  Britt Jr. continues following in his father’s footsteps by taking over as publisher of Britt Sr.’s newspaper, The Daily Sentinel.  As the Green Hornet, Britt Jr. is also trying to find Black Hornet, the man responsible for murdering Britt Sr. in issue 3.

Anyone who knows Smith’s movies will absolutely recognize his writing style in this book.  As previously stated it has a bit of a slow start because of Smith’s love for exposition, especially when driven by dialogue.  But, it also has some rather crass language and its fair share of racial slurs as well.  Anyone who thinks I’m complaining about these things couldn’t be more wrong, I think  it’s really funny and part of what makes this book still a fun read even if a bit drawn out at first.  Smith even manages to sneak his longtime friend Jason Mewes (Jay of “Jay and Silent Bob” fame) in as Clutch Kato, the Kato’s mechanic and tech guy.

Clutch is Mulan’s cousin.  I know what you’re thinking: how does a blond haired, white guy become cousin to a family of Asian killing machines?  As Clutch so eloquently puts it, “Dad loved to eat Chinese.”  He also calls himself a “stinkin’ round-eye.” Like I said, the dialogue alone is fantastic, which is no surprise from Kevin Smith.

Another fantastic aspect of this series is Jonathan Lau’s art.  He’s great at capturing action and his character designs are really exceptional.  My one big complaint is the updated Green Hornet costume.  It looks a little too poofy and busy.  I don’t like his cape either, I like the classic look of the Green Hornet.  Earlier, Britt Jr. started out wearing his father’s Hornet outfit which was simply a green suit and tie, green fedora, green mask and sometimes a green overcoat which was simple and classy.  I’m glad that’s what they’ll be using the upcoming film.

Overall, Green Hornet by Kevin Smith bogs down a little in issues 2-4, but, if you give it a chance this series looks like it’s really going to start going places.

Ian Candish
Ian@ComicImpact.com