Jan 252012
 



A while back I read and enjoyed the first volume in THE GREEN HORNET: YEAR ONE, and now I've read the second trade paperback collection from the comic book series. Volume Two is called THE BIGGEST OF ALL GAME, and it's an appropriate title as The Green Hornet and Kato step up their war against gang boss Skid Caruso. In fact, they cause so much trouble for Caruso that he calls in the brutal gangland killer known as The Scourge and sets him on the trail of the Hornet.

Interspersed with this storyline are flashbacks detailing how The Hornet came to be equipped with his famous car The Black Beauty, his electrified weapon The Hornet's Sting, and his downtown headquarters with its secret alleyway entrance. Britt Reid's secretary Lenore Case is also introduced in this volume. All of this is classic Green Hornet lore, told in a little grittier fashion for modern readers maybe, but faithful enough to the original that a purist like me really appreciates it. I'm still not crazy about the series being set in Chicago rather than Detroit, but I can live with it.

As usual Matt Wagner's scripts are excellent, fast-paced and hardboiled and occasionally humorous. He's also credited with art direction on the series, which I suppose means he did rough breakdowns for Aaron Campbell's pencils and inks. I like Campbell's art for the most part. His storytelling is fairly easy to follow, and his characters all look right.

I've liked The Green Hornet ever since I first listened to the radio show in the early Sixties. Wagner's doing a fine job with this retelling, and when the next volume comes out, I'm sure I'll read it.