by Jessica Greenlee
Green Hornet #8 is a low-key, single-issue episode that tells how the Green Hornet gained some of his followers, starting when they were children. When it begins, someone calling himself the Green Hornet is running a gang of child thieves in the city. They report to him and fear him. Naturally, the heroic Green Hornet takes an interest both in the thief and in the welfare of his victims.
This is an odd little issue, very low-tension. What Mark Waid does here is give the Green Hornet a chance to show a different side of heroism. This is less the story of him finding or fighting bad guys and more the story of a rescue from the point of view of the boys he saves. It’s a look at a different side of crime fighting, the side that takes care of the vulnerable and helps keep them from remaining trapped as criminals. Of course, there is a wicked little twist there in the false Green Hornet’s fate.
Ronilson Freire provides an array of appealing city urchins and gives them a ramshackle array of alleys and rundown stalls to prowl through. He also knows when to linger on a face or an expression, giving portraits of the boys’ despair under the reign of the false Green Hornet or helplessness in the face of the angry, law-abiding adult world. Marcio Menyz adds to the ominous atmosphere with his coloring. Menyz and Freire between them create a dark world, a world of looming shadows and threat, and then open things up at the end for everyone.
Recommended as a nice break between battles.