Green Hornet #1
Written by: Amy Chu
Art by: German Erramouspe and Brittany Pezzillo
Published by: Dynamite Comics

Reviewed by: Ryan McLelland

WARNING: I’m not sure if I have a big spoiler in here but there may be a big spoiler in here so if you don’t want to read a possible big spoiler in here then I would say avoid reading because…there may be a big spoiler in here.

I’ve never been too familiar with the Green Hornet character.  I’m a massive Bruce Lee fan as I’m sure any fan of martial arts is.  It’s weird that a television series that starred Lee isn’t currently available on DVD, Blu-ray, or Digital.  You would think you should be able to go to Amazon and buy the whole series but it isn’t the case.  The show itself was pretty fantastic as Bruce usually upstaged Van Williams’ Green Hornet.  It was a great show that was way ahead of its time.  Thankfully it introduced the world to Bruce Lee.

The Green Hornet character has been around since the 1930’s – first enjoyed by the masses as a radio serial.  The concept is pretty cool.  Most of society thinks that Green Hornet is some sort of bad guy, but he actually is someone who fights crime.  It’s really some rich dude and his assistant driving around in a car beating up evildoers.  I’ve never heard the serial and have never read any of the comic books – even the ones written by Kevin Smith.  Basically my knowledge of The Green Hornet is my recollection of the television series and that not-so-great Seth Rogen movie.

Dynamite’s new The Green Hornet #1 is generational.  I’m not sure if some of these characters have been in previous series or if they are being introduced for the first time in Amy Chu’s script.  Right from the start you know that we aren’t reading a book about Brett Reid aka The Green Hornet.  Why?  Because there is a female character on the cover dressed as The Green Hornet.  Who is she?  Why is she dressed up as The Green Hornet?  Will she go out and fight some crime?

All these questions are answered in issue one.  The basic crux of the story is that Brett Reid has gone missing.  No one knows where he is including best friend, sidekick, and business partner Kato (who is The Green Hornet’s sidekick named…Kato).  The book delves into questions like, “Who or what is the Green Hornet?  Is it the hat?  The coat? The car? The weapons?  Or is the Green Hornet something more?”

My opinion is that he is something more.  I’d say he’s a Batman type except Green Hornet was created a few years before ol’ Bats.  But the idea here is the same:  A rich character who serves the public by fighting crime.  The absence of The Green Hornet has brought out a ton of copycats.  With these copycats running around wrecking havoc, Kato and his daughter Mulan basically know that someone has to do something.  That someone might as well be them.  So Kato is Kato and Mulan becomes the Green Hornet.   Again – I’m not sure if this is a spoiler or not.  I have no clue if Mulan has existed before this first issue and, if she did, is it any surprise that she is Green Hornet based on the cover alone?

Amy Chu does a wonderful job introducing me to the Green Hornet world in both his vigilante way and Reid’s life as a newspaper mogul.  I have no clue who most of these characters are but by the end of the issue I had a pretty solid grasp on who is who.  The book was pretty engaging and was really a ton of fun.  I liked the playfulness between Kato and his daughter and having them both fighting crime was quite appealing.  I think it is wonderful for Amy Chu to be writing this story.  Chu is a very famous writer who happens to be Chinese.  Kato is a character who is also Chinese and his daughter just became the new Green Hornet.  So now we have a Chinese female superhero out kicking ass and saving the day.  I really don’t care about gender-bending or race-bending as long as there’s a great story behind it.  The Green Hornet has a fantastic story behind it so I really like the book AND Mulan as The Green Hornet.  Having Chu writing this book is just the cherry on top.

The Green Hornet #1 is one hell of a first issue.  Thrills, chills, mysteries, and the knowledge that you can stop a man but you can’t stop the idea.  I hope that even if Britt Reid is found in later issues that Mulan continues as The Green Hornet.  You couldn’t pick a better character to pass the torch to, especially when you consider the history of the Green Hornet character.  It’s pretty ingenious.  But what else would you expect from Amy Chu?


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