Kato: Not My Father's Daughter
by Ande Parks, Ale Garza, Diego Bernard (Dynamite, 2010)

Most sidekicks keep to their place, providing colorful but subservient support to the starring character.

But when Kevin Smith gave long legs and boobs to his second-generation Kato, he probably knew she'd soon be creeping out from behind the Green Hornet's cape.

She makes her splash in Kato: Not My Father's Daughter, a prequel to Smith's recent reboot of the Green Hornet franchise (which, for the record, is not related to the recent Seth Rogen film). Ande Parks takes over the writing duties here, with Ale Garza and Diego Bernard supplying the excellent art.

The story is set before the Katos, No. 1 and No. 2, return to America and link up with the new Green Hornet. Here, they're still in Japan, and the retired father is trying to impart both wisdom and skill to the headstrong, 20-year-old daughter.

She's not enthusiastic, at least not until the son of an old Green Hornet foe resurfaces with a plan to take vengeance against the original Kato. The daughter, Mulan, is inconsequential to his plans beyond collateral damage, and the wife and mother who gets in his way is a necessary casualty. But, once the villain strikes, Mulan resists her now-crippled father's attempt to hustle her off into safety; she vows to assume his mantle and take her own revenge.

The action here is strong, with good storytelling carried along with exceptional artwork. Mulan Kato is an intriguing new character whose breakout origin tale is a solid reading experience.

This is a sidekick who deserves her day in the spotlight.

review by
Tom Knapp

21 May 2011

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