Lobdell, Marques Pack Action into Dynamite Comics' Latest Green Hornet Launch

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Green Hornet 2020 #1

The Green Hornet is possibly one of the earliest legacy heroes in comics, his grandfather having been the Lone Ranger. (Yes, I know The Phantom is older, but The Phantom is more of a mantle than a legacy.)

Britt Reid is a man of action, whether in his civilian identity as a crusading newspaper publisher, or at night when he's the wanted criminal, The Green Hornet. Yes, criminal -- he's wanted by the police. But that's a double-cover, because he establishes himself in that identity to infiltrate actual criminal gangs and take them down from the inside.

We're throwin right into the middle of the story with the opening shot, that includes a gorgeous 2-page splash across pages two and three. The plot pits the Green Hornet against the U.S. Army, for reasons that will be established as the story unfolds. And the story is a strange one indeed, because the Green Hornet is pretty much used to fighting thugs and mob bosses -- street level and corporate level evil.

But when a reporter for Britt's newspaper goes missing while on an assignment, the dynamic du--oh, uh--the powerful pair take to the skies for middle America to seek her out and rescue her if necessary. What they find is a tossed hotel room, and a wall-rending blast from someone who cannot be human.

Scott Lobdell (EVERGLADE ANGELS) establishes throughout that he has a clear understanding of these characters. Their mannerisms and responses are consistent throughout this issue, and the relationship between Britt Reid and his bodyguard, Kato, is a humorous and loyal one.

It's impossible to look at Anthony Marques' artwork and not see the influence of Darwyn Cooke. Perhaps it's that this "silver age" setting demands the sleeker style, perhaps it's intentional or unconscious, but it's definitely there. In fact, the entire issue is done in three colors: black, white, and a muted green wash that permeates every panel and adds to the overall noir feeling of the story by inserting the Hornet's signature color.

The mystery is a straightforward one that doesn't require you to have an encyclopedic knowledge of Green Hornet history or literary symbolism. The action doesn't take several issues and dinner discussions to finally get into gear -- it roars right off the starting line the way a hero comic is supposed to.

Overall, this one is a solid recommend from us.

Grade: 
4.5 / 5.0