Monday, November 20, 2017

Longbox Junk - Green Hornet Part 6

GREEN HORNET
(Dynamite)
PART 6: ISSUES 33 - 42

I discovered that I DON'T actually have the full run of this series like I thought.  I am missing issues 32, 36 and 37.  But trust me, you aren't missing much.  Last batch of Dynamite's Green Hornet. . .let's do this and end the pain!
ISSUE 33

With this issue, Green Hornet's status quo completely changes as Britt Reid Jr. is presumed dead (but is actually in a coma) and Mulan is missing and also presumed dead. Clutch Kato and Jeffrey Hollister (AKA Scowl/Moonbeam) decide to continue the Hornet's work with Hollister taking on the name "Green Hornet 2.0" and wearing a high-tech suit of armor.

As Hornet 2.0 starts cleaning up the city, it becomes plain that he is a lot more brutal than Britt Jr. as he maims and kills his targets.

The art is still awful, but shows improvement. . .only because with more masks involved, the horrible faces aren't so much on view.

The story is extremely derivative of Batman's "Knightfall" arc, with Hollister playing the part of Azrael taking over as a more brutal Batman. There is also very strong resemblances to Iron Man in both the design of the Green Hornet 2.0 armor and the super-intelligent A.I. "Hive" that runs it and provides information.

Also, with the introduction of not one, not two, not three. . .but SIX costumed supervillains, it's plain to see the direction this series is taking. Clearly, Dynamite blamed the foundering title on not enough superhero cliche instead of the poor writing and awful art. Nice.


ISSUE 34

As of this issue, it's pretty clear that Dynamite has pretty much given up on this Green Hornet series. This issue had a 3 month shipping delay, the title is changed to "Green Hornet: Legacy" to set it apart from Mark Waid's new ongoing classic Green Hornet series, and none of the issues from here to the end have variant covers. . .and for Dynamite that definitely is a sign that things are wrapping up. They DO love their multiple covers!

The story inside also reflects the "F%ck it. This is almost done." attitude as it basically turns into pretty standard derivative superhero cliche.

A supervillain team robs a train to steal radioactive material for a dirty bomb in order to punish Green Hornet 2.0 (Or, as I like to call him. . .Iron Hornet) for "Breaking the rules" and killing a supervillain. Britt Reid recovers from his coma and realizes that things are going to hell in the month or so he's been out. He suits up and joins the battle with Iron Hornet just in time to save the day.

The fact that nobody really cares any more about this series is plain to see. It's a damn shame.


ISSUE 35

This issue was mostly a fight between the two Green Hornets and a gang of supervillains ready to set off a dirty nuclear bomb.

Green Hornet tries to get them to surrender peacefully, but Green Hornet 2.0 (Iron Hornet) decides to start killing. This all leads to Clutch Kato shutting down the Iron Hornet suit and Jeffrey Hollister meets his end by falling into the radioactive chemicals.

Overall, this was an abbreviated version of the Bruce Wayne/ Azrael Batman confrontation that ended "Knightfall" but with a more final ending for Azrael. . .er. . .Iron Hornet. . .er. . .Robin. . .er. . .Scowl II. . .er. . .Moonbeam. . .er. . .Jeffrey Hollister. Whoever, whatever. We've seen this story before.

It's just a shame that Dynamite didn't grant this series the same merciful death. 

They kept it painfully crawling on the floor and bleeding slowly out for 7 more issues.

ISSUE 38

In this one off story we get a cliche "Let's fight until we realize we're on the same side" team up between Green Hornet and Nikki Stripez (one of the supervillains that was going to set off a dirty bomb in Century City a few issues back). But since this crappy artist loves to draw boobs and Mulan has been missing for 7 issues, we also get an extremely awkward and forced sex scene between the two.

Ridiculous on so many levels.

God, why didn't Dynamite cancel this series 10 issues ago? 

ISSUE 39

In another one off issue, when an old flame of Britt Reid Jr. is robbed, Green Hornet discovers a new hero in town (El Gato Rojo) who robs from the rich to give to the poor.

So we've had Robin, Iron Man, and Azrael in this series. Now we have a male Latino version of Catwoman. 

It's all so forced. So derivative. So weak.
Thank God it's almost over. . .



ISSUE 40

Why, Dynamite? Why couldn't you let this die with some honor at issue #27? Why must this poorly-drawn and written corpse shamble toward me, pitifully moaning at its awful fate?

Why must I be the witness (indeed one of the last witnesses) to this sad, forgotten creature's prolonged demise? Can it be that you have no soul, Dynamite? Can it be that you enjoy the torment of this unfortunate living corpse, and by extension, you enjoy my torment as well?


ISSUE 41

Doctor Creepy (facepalm) unleashes a horde of exploding radioactive zombies on Century City and. . .oh F%ck it. Why does this even exist?  I can't even do this. Let's just get to the last issue.


ISSUE 42

This is the final issue. Thank God.

A poorly-written and drawn unsatisfying conclusion to what has to be one of the worst storylines I've ever seen. It ends with the return of Mulan Kato and the revelation that she left because she was pregnant.

The final page leaves it open for further adventures of the new Green Hornet and Kato. . .but with so much damage done, we never saw them again in a regular series.  A damn shame. This COULD have ended so much better, but with this issue we're well past the point where nobody cared any more.



CONCLUSION

After starting off SO strong on this series, reading the last handful of issues just made me sad. It was obvious where Dynamite stopped caring (Issue #28 ), and that's a damn shame because Kevin Smith left them a great foundation. At the end they wasted it all on embarrassing, derivative plots, some of the worst art I've ever seen in a regular comic series from a major publisher and completely out of place superhero/supervillain nonsense.

The worst part about this all is that the whole IDEA was ruined. Except for appearing in the "Masks 2" mini (also by Dynamite), we never got to see these characters again. The back half of this series left me with such a bitter, disappointed feeling of waste that I find it hard to suggest it to anybody.

Do yourself a favor. . .if you decide to check out this version of Green Hornet, PLEASE stop reading at issue #27. Issues 28-42 have no real reason to exist.

Up next. . .

We're done with Dynamite's Green Hornet and ready to move on!

What's bigger than a one-shot, but not quite a full mini-series?

Two-Shots! Two issue stories. . .
 Punisher, Hellboy, The Thing, Predator and Magnus The Robot Fighter!

Be there or be square!