Review: The Green Hornet #4

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Now that the Green Hornet is out of control, only one man stands a chance of bringing him down–his partner, Kato! What’s the voice that Britt Reid is hearing–and is he alone in hearing it?

green hornet coverThis month we’re getting a double shot of Mark Waid’s Green Hornet from Dynamite. Three weeks ago we took a look at the explosive third issue of the series, and the cliffhanger was just too huge to have to wait another month to see what happens next. The issue is written by Waid, but we get a new artist in the form of Ronilson Freire. Marcio Menyz still provides coloring and Troy Peteri still handles lettering. So does Waid continue his string of great stories? How does a new artist’s introduction change the books dynamic?

In the shocking conclusion of the previous issue, we saw The Sentinel wrongly convict Winston Mills as The Voice, leading to the man trying to take his own life. As the story opens this time, Britt is making his way into the Fortune Club to talk about his run for mayor, but he has to run the gauntlet of reporters wanting to get his thoughts on Mills shooting himself. Of course Britt has to deal with the fallout of that, but he also has to work on launching his political campaign. The Voice has to take a backseat as Britt prepares to throw his hat into the ring with a big speech later that night. Kato has left his friend and partner due to him completely crossing the line and almost turning the Green Hornet into the villain he pretends to be. Just because he’s no longer working with Britt doesn’t mean he’s not still trying to find out who The Voice is though. He’s working the case his own way, and Kato is determined to get results. At the big rally, Britt gets a surprise he never would have expected and we learn more about the person or people behind the recent strings of attack. Reid’s cracks are showing, but is he about to completely break? Who can Britt Reid turn to whenever his own partner can’t stand him?

Waid writes another stellar story. This is where everything comes crashing down around Britt Reid’s ears. There’s no hero to swoop in and save the day. He’s messed up and he’s messed up badly. He’s going to have severe consequences because of what he’s done, but we don’t know what form they’ll take just yet. Waid did not oversell this when he said it was Lawrence of Arabia meets Citizen Kane. The art takes a little bit of a hit this issue. Freire’s art isn’t bad, it’s just different. Artist changes take a little while to adjust to, and Freire has a distinct style that can work well for the book once things smooth out with the transition. His predecessor had a slightly more dynamic panel layout and way to incorporate the newspaper into the story, but Menyz’s colors help keep things similar enough to not feel like a complete overhaul.

Bottom Line: Green Hornet continues to be can’t miss reading. Waid continues to offer up a Green Hornet/Kato story of epic scope. I’m one of those people that it takes a while for artist shifts to take hold, but your mileage very well may vary. 3.5/5

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