GREEN HORNET: YEAR ONE [Special] #1 – Single Issue Dynamite Comics Created by:George W. Trendle & Fran Striker Writer: Nate Crosby Pencilers:Edu Menna(Old Stlye: Evan Shaner) Colorer:Marcelo Pinto Letterer:Marshall Dillon Reviewer:Derrick T. Crow
Summary: In this episode we travel into the way back machine into the early days of the Hornet and Kaito in an era where they are not trusted and like Spider-Man, the newspaper finds the Hornet to be a menace. But not everyone thinks that way, one little girl, Ruby imagines a more thrilling life with the Hornet, helping out and fighting diabolical, over-the-top bad guys and saving the day. But that’s all in her head, what will she do if she’s really faced with the chance to help the Green Hornet?
Review:Well how should I begin this? I’ve been wanting to get into the Green Hornet for quite a while, most of what I know about him is from the 2011 movie (though, granted, I do know that in the comics he was a complete imbecile) and I thoroughly enjoyed that flick. And I do know Green Hornet is old, like super old, his and Kaito’s first appearance is in the Green Hornet radio program dating back to 1936!
That’s a lot of history!
But also being the comic reader I am, I know there are times when you can just fly into a comic, have a good time with a thrilling story, and not even have to worry about the massive history of a character. Sadly nowadays those issues are few and far between. Thankfully though, this particular comic was one of those shining examples. And it doesn’t even feature the Green Hornet or Kaito as the main characters!
Knowing that this had “Year One” in the title I was looking for a sort of origin story, or something featuring a look back that the general first adventures of the Hornet. Instead, what I got was completely different. The book jumps back and forth between looking and feeling like a 50’s fun romp of a comic to a modern looking sort of more serious but still a fun romp sort of a comic.
It opens with what is definitely the style of a 50’s comic, with the look and dialogue. It’s a circus and the Green Hornet is trying to balance his self on a moving Hippo that he has been tricked into getting on. It’s this sort of silliness that I sometimes miss in comics today, as it’s just meant to be a lot of fun. We then cut to what isn’t exactly modern but more of a 20’s era look, with a young girl selling papers to make a living for her dad and her. She obviously lives a rough life and we learn that it is her that is dreaming up the adventures that look like a 50’s comic.
She dreams of teaming up with the Hornet and Kaito to save the day and defeat the real bad guys of the world. One day when she’s selling her papers she gets her wish as the two shows up fighting off some bad guys. Hornet loses his futuristic taser gun and Ruby finds it, using it to help bring the bad guys down just like she dreamt. The battle though puts her in the hospital badly injured but even then she gets a happy ending in being allowed to possess the Hornet’s now broken taser gun.
This issue is obviously meant to paint the Hornet in a light of a true hero in a world that doesn’t trust him through the eyes of an impressionable young youth that despite the adults around her can only see the good that this man does and I believe the issue nails it.
Ruby is a relatable girl who longs for this larger than life world and like so many kids today wish they could, she gets her wish despite the rough life she is truly living. Her mother is dead, and her father isn’t abusive but he is shown to be a deadbeat alcoholic. But even at the end he gets his moment to show what he truly is, even if it’s only shown in a few panels and few lines.
The story is very sound and well-paced, Crosby really nails the feeling of a 50s comics with his campy dialogue and campy scenario all-around. The modern day story is also well done and the characters are easily relatable and feel natural. I don’t even mind any of the campy dialogue in all of this, it’s just so fun. Especially with the 20’s look for the modern story, I don’t want people speaking like they’re from now, and I want people like they’re from then and that’s what we get.
The dream sequence 50’s style art by Shaner is phenomenal; he really pulls off the retor look while still having this sort modern vibe that works well within the story. The colors to accompany it are spot on with its vibrant feel to make it pop and come alive. The lettering is also done very well, switching up the styles from modern to 50s is a smooth transition for the eye so you’re never in doubt what goes where.
Unfortunately, my biggest problems with this issue comes from the main art by Menna, their look jumps around from looking detailed to looking like a very bad indie artist who wants to cut corners and not bother drawing the full image. Their design for Ruby also doesn’t sit well with me; I understand you want her to look like a newsboy but for me I really thought she was a boy till someone said her name and I would’ve liked some other way of telling she was a girl from the get go.
In conclusion, a solid first outing for me as a new Green Hornet fan and for everyone involved in making this book. It’s one that you can simply pick up with no knowledge of the Hornet or Kaito and have a lot of fun with it and perhaps even be inspired to do the right thing next time you’re faced with a life changing decision. I say pick this issue up. Final Score: 4 African Hippopotamus’ out of 5.
Nekros Preview N.A.S. Publishing Story: David Sandoval Art: Andrew Magnum Colors: Matt Houk Letters: Kel Nuttall Reviewer: Robert McClelland
Summary:An Ill Priest is visited by a being willing to cure him. But what sort of price will he ultimately pay for this cure?
Review:And we are back in the delightfully twisted mind of David Sandoval! You might remember an earlier review of mine which featured his Black Mass title. Which at the time was a special early preview edition. Kind of like this preview, but this one's more complete and sadly less hot chicks. Now its obvious there's also a touch of the Religious aspect in this book too. Much like Black Mass. Only the Preacher doesn't seem to be all that bad a guy. Unless his visitor decides to change that. And before I get any further, I just got to say a thing or two about the cover. Jeez! That beauty certainly looks like she went through the ringer with something or someone bigger than her! Although that smile on her face makes me think she might have enjoyed that. I think there's a name for that, but I don't think there's a need to dive into that territory on here. Wouldn't want to scar anyone for life accidentally. Matt Houk's colors is a good match for the art. Even if it is only on the cover and what I think is basically the other side of it. I do find myself wondering however just what his colors would have done for the rest of the book. And since this is only a preview, its possible that one day I'll get to have that bit of wondering filled.
Andrew Magnum does fantastic work with his art through out the book. Especially that rather menacing image of the Priest with what looks like a very unfriendly energy surrounding him. Another hint I imagine for things to come. And boy the Priest's dreams are pretty dark. But considering what's going on with his health its fairly understandable. Still, I'd hate to be getting dreams like that. Very little rest would be happening! I know that for sure! And heh... Poor doctor. Poor guy thinks he's being played when he see's the man at last. I'm rather curious as to where this is all leading. And if whether or not that doctor is even really a good guy. Since to me at least he had a fairly non nice guy look about him. Now we should all know by now that you never just say 'Yes' when someone asks you to do that. Because you never know what you might be agreeing too. Hopefully the good Priest won't come to regret that later on. All I know is, this preview has suitably gotten my interest and I am looking forward to the full thing when Mr. Sandoval gets the book out to the masses. So if you're looking for something suitably spooky, even if its only a small bit of it. Then this is for you. 5 out of 5 Stars
Editor's Note: To pick up a copy or to check out what else N.A.S. Publishing has to offer, head on over to their site!
The Bionic Man vs. The Bionic Woman #1 – Single Issue Dynamite Comics Writer:Keith Champagne Pencilers:Jose Luis Colorer:Inlight Studio Letterer:Marshall Dillon Reviewer:Derrick T. Crow
Summary:Once they were lovers, but after his accident that turned Colonel Steve Austin into the world’s first Bionic Man, Jaime Sommers also suffered a devastating accident that made her into the world’s first Bionic Woman. The Key difference being Jaime lost all knowledge of her past life and went rogue from O.S.I. (Office of Scientific Intelligence). Now, after everything they’ve been through, they face each other and a deadly new bionic threat. [Taken from the issue synopsis in the book.]
Review:I am mixed on this issue. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t good either. And I have to warrant the question of what is the point of a Bionic Man vs. Bionic Woman mini-series? Couldn’t there just be a story arc within the Bionic Man ongoing series that covers this match-up?
The title and cover promises a brawl between these two characters and I can think of several ways to get that very thing accomplished within issue 1 itself, but we never see it here. In fact this issue is bogged down by a serial killer murder mystery that the Bionic Man (BM) is placed in charge of. A beast is rolling around the country stealing the heart of its victims every 48 hours. The creature isn’t shy about being seen by every camera imaginable and will tear a city asunder just to get to its victim’s heart.
As someone who hasn’t seen the original 6 Billion Dollar Man tv series or the Bionic Woman tv series, there’s not a lot I can say regarding how this holds up to those pieces of entertainment. But also as someone who isn’t familiar with them I can say that this issue isn’t specifically new reader friendly. You kind of have to know the characters presented within this book to get how they act and what logical choices they’re making, if any.
The Bionic Woman is barely in this issue and we don’t get to see a lot of what makes these two characters Bionic. The main focus of this story is pressed solely upon this mysterious creature that in all honesty I have no care about even after a whole issue with the beast. I wanted to see more Bionic Man and Bionic Woman action, and not the action I mean seeing BW dancing a pole to catch some bad guys.
The writing is another problem, it isn’t dumb and can be pretty smart at times, but it’s never quiet. Character aren’t quiet in this book, they always have to have something to say and it gets in the way of my enjoyment when I could’ve picked many scenes that could’ve been silent and still worked pretty well.
The art is also very iffy with me, it seems very 90s to me, raw and not very refined. Though the few actions scenes in this are worth taking a look at illustrated quite well in fact, I would’ve just liked to see some more eloquent line work and fine tuning done to the images.
I will say however the pacing in this issue is well done, and the book doesn’t feel like too quick of a read even though it is, but also never feel like a chore. Some characters do balance off of one another well, and even if I don’t fully understand the relationships I do see how some of these characters get along.
Champagne does offer a well-rounded voice to BM and he doesn’t feel like a single-dimensional hero, but BW could use some work that I hope to see in issue #2.
Overall though, BM vs. BW isn’t a terrible comic, far from it, but it does set up reservations I have for this series to end up being anything more than just a filler tale that could’ve been told within the confines of the main BM comic. But even so, I’m still praying that doesn’t end up being the case. Final Score: 2 Snatched Hearts out of 5