MOST CASUAL fans of the Green Hornet have no idea just how pulpy the character really is, probably because most casual fans know Green Hornet from his 1960s TV show, which had more in common with the wonderfully campy Batman series than it did with the Hornet’s roots in the Depression-era inner city.
In any case, Dynamite Comics has done a bang-up job of restoring the grit in its latest Green Hornet storyline, Reign of the Demon, which is available now in a 4-issue collected edition that’s both nostalgic and fresh in all the right ways.
The setting: Chicago. World War II is in the air, but it’s the war on the streets that has media baron Britt Reid, better known as the masked crime fighter Green Hornet, on edge. He and his martial-artist partner, Kato, have just evicted a vicious crime boss from the city only to discover that an even more monstrous one has moved in. He calls himself Demone—the Demon—and from the looks of this creep he’s aptly named. He’s carving a bloody swathe across the Chicago underworld, eliminating the competition, and what’s worse, he’s abducting innocent people and turning them into an army of zombie-like assassins that target cops!
Further complicating things is the sudden arrival of the Swashbuckler, a capable but annoying masked vigilante who seems bound and determined to team-up with the Hornet, whether he likes it or not.
From there the plot widens in interesting ways. There are a few cool twists, and some intriguing possibilities for a continuation of this story. Writer David Liss (Black Panther; The Spider) and artist Kewber Baal (Kiss) do an admirable job of getting the period dialogue and visual details right, making the read an immersive experience.
Whether you’re an old Green Hornet fan, or just into period pulp, you’ll have a good time with this book.
GREEN HORNET: REIGN OF THE DEMON
Dynamite Comics; Trade Paperback
Pub. May 31, 2017 (print and digital)
Color; 106 pages; Age Rating: 12+
Writer: David Liss; Art: Kewber Baal
Color: Adriano Augusto; Lettering: Tom Napolitano
Cover A: (art) Ken Lashley; (color) Pete Pantazis
Editor: Anthony Marques