Monday, January 31, 2011

Kevin Smith's Green Hornet Vol. 1: Sins of the Father

Script:  Kevin Smith
Breakdowns:  Phil Hester
Pencils:  Jonathan Lau

I have been a Green Hornet fan for many years.  A good friend of mine (hi, Dave Mowry) was the main inker for Now Comics version.  When they were starting up the book, Now showed up with the Green Hornet crew at 2 conventions in the Baltimore-DC area.

Among those who attended were writer Ron Fortier, penciller Jeff Butler, Dave, and the cover artist for the first issue-Jim Steranko.  It was one of my favorite convention experiences getting to talk to Steranko.  Ron, Jeff, et al made it a great weekend.  Also in attendance was Van Williams who played the Hornet on the television show.  Van told us many stories of working with Bruce (Kato) Lee.

With this background, I was tentative about Dynamite's revival of the series.  At the urging of Terry Kissinger I sat down and read the first collection over the last few days.  I didn't need to worry.

Kevin Smith would have been a great pulp writer.  Beginning with the final adventure of the original Hornet and Kato through the modern day events that cause the birth of the second generation, Smith wrote a story that stays faithful.  That is not to say that this is an old fashioned story.  The second generation Hornet is the slacker son of the original.  Needless to say, he is far from a polished hero.  His journey through the first five issues make for an exciting comic.  Smith is also the master of knowing the exact moment to include a funny line.  The final pages of issue 4 were a perfect example of this.  When Green Hornet 2 crashes through the roof, he actually thought it would be a good idea.  He learns very quickly that it was not.

I am not sure if the choreography of the fight scenes should be credited to Hester or Lau.  Since Hester is doing the breakdowns, I would assume that he is laying out the fights.  Whoever is doing it has it down to a science.  This book features some of my favorite fight scenes of recent memory.

While the anatomy is weak at times, overall this book boasts good artwork.  The art definitely fits the story.

Highly Recommended.  A good start to a good series.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Introduction to the Comic Book Shelf Review

Welcome!  What is the Comic Book Shelf Review?  It is the home of my reviews of items on my comic book shelf.  This includes graphic novels and trade paperback collections.  Beginning in February, I will be posting reviews on a regular basis.

For reviews of individual issues visit Comics!  A Personal Journal.   My science fiction (with some fantasy) reviews can be found at Science Fiction Times.

I hope to create a blog that will be a resource for novel/collection reviews.  Many blogs review single issues but very few focus on this format.  According to sales figures, this format is growing.  

Join me as I help you navigate the large number of books.