by Carl R. Jansson
Dynamite has done it again! Continuing their line of comics inspired the pulps of yesteryear comes Green Hornet #7. With The Voice finally silenced, and a new radio station under his care, Britt Reid struggles with his triple identities. Being sought not only by the law, but other criminal organizations is taking its toll. But other than his stalwart sidekick, Kato, who can he confide in?
Mark Waid continues the story of the Green Hornet’s rise, downfall, and eventual climb back up from the depths. The Hornet is sick of taking orders, and decides to take the steps necessary to become Chicago’s crime kingpin, but not without ruffling a few very dangerous feathers. From Waid’s deft handling of the characters, it is immediately apparent that he’s been waiting a long time to tell this story. And what a story so far! Mr. Waid catches us up with the story through the use of just a few dialog boxes on the first page, a rare thing indeed in today’s comics.
This issue has the perfect blend of action, intrigue, and character development, as Britt struggles with not only his dual identities as the Green Hornet, but also his identity as newspaperman/radio station owner Britt Reid. There is a fair amount of set-up happening still, which just shows how big this story is going to be, both in length, and in terms of the Green hornet’s future. The pacing is quick, with so much happening on each page, but there are a few quieter moments where you can catch your breath.
The art by Ronilson Freire, with colors by Marcio Menyz, has a wonderful pulp feeling to it, setting a perfect tone for the series. Freire’s skillful brushwork has a muddy quality to it in places, and I mean that in a good way as it really fits the story. The final page splash is simply gorgeous, and the angle Freire used makes you feel as if you’re sitting in the chair right next to Fulton. Period pieces always take a lot of research, and Freire has done his. The architecture, cars, costuming, everything looks like it was ripped right out of the 1940s, although a murkier, smokier, darker 1940s.
Marcio’s colors really set the tone here, with subtle, sludgy gradients instead of the flashier palettes we are used to from most comics. And it fits. He brightens his palette when needed, but it’s a pulp influenced world, so the darker the better.
Waid and his team have put the Green Hornet through hell these last few issues, and it looks like it isn’t quite over yet. But with a new ally by his side, a stronger bond with Kato, and the FBI giving him exactly what he “wanted”, I have a feeling he’ll make it through with just some bumps and bruises. But I’ll keep reading to see if they prove me wrong.