Green Hornet #1: Sins of the Father
by Kevin Smith, Jonathan Lau (Dynamite, 2010)

I've never been a Green Hornet fan.

And I haven't seen the Seth Rogen film that thrust the masked hero back into the public eye.

But Kevin Smith's involvement in resurrecting a character that first appeared on the radio in 1936 (predating Batman's comic debut by three years) caught my interest. And so, Sins of the Father, the first collected edition of Smith's Dynamite Comics series, soon ended up on my nightstand.

Smith wrote the tale for a movie he was slated to direct. After he backed out of the project, however, the script languished in a drawer for several years -- until the release of Rogen's version put the final nail in that particular coffin. But Smith's Green Hornet got a second shot at life in comic-book form and, frankly, it works.

The tale begins with original Green Hornet (Britt Reid) and his sidekick Kato putting an end to the last two crime families in Century City. The longtime friends and partners go their separate ways, and Reid redirects his energies into his family and his job, as publisher of the Century City Sentinel.

Cut to the present. Reid is older but still working. His wife is dead, and his son is a local celebutante who lacks ambition. But when a political fundraiser becomes deadly, Reid Jr. is forced to take a more active role in the world. And we soon learn what Kato -- and his heretofore unknown daughter -- have been doing all these years.

Smith's Green Hornet isn't groundbreaking by any stretch. There are predictable plot twists and sophomoric gags aplenty. But it's also a lot of fun, and artist Jonathan Lau brings Smith's vision vividly to life. I'll certainly be back for the next volume to see where they take these characters next.

review by
Tom Knapp

19 February 2011

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