Best Shots Rapid Fire
By The Best Shots Team
We kick off this week with a longer look at Green Hornet Year One #1 from Lan.
Green Hornet: Year One
Written by Matt Wagner
Art by Aaron Campbell
Colors by Francesco Francavilla
Letters by Simon Bowland
Covers by Alex Ross, Matt Wagner, John Cassaday, Stephen Segovia
Published by Dynamite Entertainment
Review by Lan Pitts
"Oh. Well, uh...that is a rather unique and aggressive African species. Trust me, Britt, what I just told you is true! But...if you ever encounter one of those...you'd be wisest to run in the opposite direction!" -- Daniel Reid
Having read Kevin Smith's Green Hornet and finding myself not wholeheartedly given a great first impression, this book here took the sting off a bit. This is the Green Hornet book I was expecting and will more than likely get more of. It's the character that pops out of Hornet fans' collective memory that seems to come alive once again through Matt Wagner's voice and Aaron Campbell's eyes. Needless to say, you won't find any racial epithets or jokes concerning male genitalia here.
I like how Wagner pulled a sort of "Godfather Part II" here, going back and forth between events in Britt's life that showed him walking the path that would eventually lead him wearing the fabled (and redesigned) mask. Wagner also uses the same technique with Kato's early life and decisions that are somewhat different from what I had expected and I can't wait to see how it all unfolds.
All the characters seem to be in great care with Wagner, from the Hornet, to his father, to even the thugs that are taken down. Nothing seems out of place. Wagner is aided with Aaron Campbell's very noir-ish style that fits the tone of the book perfectly. He's taken his style that he had from the Trial of Sherlock Holmes and just ran with it. It's not over rendered or over simplified, and elevates the story that much higher.
One of my first comics I read as a kid was NOW Comics' version of the Hornet, which led to my obsession with Zorro and Batman that continues today. Matt Wagner seemed like an almost too perfect choice for handling this character and his world. Any Hornet fan would seriously miss out on a fantastic read, should they not get this. The stage has been set for a great adventure ahead, and you'll find me going along for the ride.
And the rest . . .
Nova #35 (Marvel; by Troy): The double-Sphinx battle comes to a close as Nova has to double some quick thinking with pushing his powers to the absolute limit. Possible timeline repercussions rear their head in surprising fashion with the twist ending. The implications of this new arrival in the present timeline are many, presenting a variety of options for the creative team. Of course, given that character’s ties to the Fault and the fact that the Thanos Imperative is around the corner . . . I wouldn’t count on anything being neatly resolved anytime soon.
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #5 (Marvel; by Troy): DnA should be in the demolition business because they know how to tear the house down. Gladiator arrives on the scene as the outgunned Guard and Starjammers make their last stand against twisted Fault versions of the X-Men. This one is pretty much all-out action as Marvel’s Legion analogues fight and die to project their corner of space. Two characters get significant modifications, a new alliance is made, and Ch’od is a poor winner. The terrific closing pages remind us that those who serve their world (or country) in any reality frequently pay a high price, and deserve thanks.
Incredible Hulk #608 and Hulk #21 (Marvel; by Troy): “Fall of the Hulks” concludes as Banner tries his damnedest to be the smartest guy in the 616. With each of these issues playing a different facet of Banner’s countermove against the Intelligentsia, we get to see the layers of strategy and a veritable army of guest characters. It might not make a lick of sense if you haven’t been following the story, but these are two fast-moving action comics of the widescreen variety. I found several things to like in both (particularly Loeb’s duffel bag trick, Pak’s handling of Amadeus Cho and insane fight choreography by both art teams), and I’m interested to see if “World War Hulks” delivers on the craziness it seems to promise.
Farscape #5 (Boom!; by Troy): The ongoing kicks off a new arc wherein we finally get a glimpse of the homeworld that spawns the “pilots”. Even if you’re not familiar with the Farscape universe (as you probably should be to get in), I found this issue to be extremely reader friendly, as there are a few pages of the characters at rest and in contemplation that help resets the view of their various loves and loyalties. Co-written as it is by series creator Rockne S. O’Bannon (with Keith R.A. Decandido on script), the comic version has the exact voice of the series, and that’s a tough thing to replicate.