Review: The Shadow/Green Hornet: Dark Nights #2
The Green Hornet and Kato ally with Shiwan Khan against the dark force known as The Shadow, warned that a storm is coming to America… an electrically-charged storm of Biblical proportions… a storm that will bring explosive destruction to the heart of the country’s communications, finance and manufacturing industries… a storm that will rain fear across the United States… for Khan now knows how to turn the ultimate power on earth against The Shadow and his secret partner, the scientist who invented the auto-gyro and first harnessed this terrible power, Nikola Tesla!
The second issue of a five part miniseries from Dynamite that sees The Shadow and The Green Hornet combining forces hits shelves today. The story is written by Batman super producer Michael Uslan with art by Keith Burns. Tony Avina handles colors and Rob Steen provides lettering. The first issue was a strong start to the historically based story, but does issue two live up to the premiere’s standards?
In New York City on a rooftop late at night, the agents of The Shadow are with Nikola Tesla preparing the auto-gyro. The Shadow needs to get to Detroit quickly, and only his special aircraft can get him there quickly. Lamont Cranston, Margo Lane, Britt Reid, Kato, and Lenore are at the Blackstone Hotel to hear Japan’s new ambassador speak. Japan had recently enacted an edict forcing American companies out of the Japanese auto market and the ambassador is there to tour Detroit and rethink the policy. The only problem, as Kato points out, is that the ambassador isn’t even Japanese. The imposter is Mongolian, just like the villainous Shiwan Khan. Britt and Kato have to make up an excuse to leave, which is very convenient since Lamont has suddenly remembered a prior engagement as well. The Shadow and Kato race off to Detroit as The Shadow meets with his agents on a rooftop. After giving them their missions, he begins the journey to the Motor City. The next day, the Green Hornet and Kato try to break up a fifth columnist’s moving weapons. After breaking it up in spectacular style, the Hornet and Kato are applauded by Shiwan Khan. He wants to enlist the aid of the criminal mastermind known as the Green Hornet. Will Britt Reid go so far undercover that he would join up with Khan and the Nazis? How will The Shadow change the game when he arrives?
Uslan writes another strong issue. The story moves at a fast pace and the tension is high. We know that Lamont and Britt are good guys who are going to fight Nazis and Khan, but the plan that is unfolding looks to be greater than they can handle. They work to save their respective cities, but this plot has worldwide implications. The crime fighters are thrust on a larger stage and they might not be fully prepared. Uslan writes a very historically based story, so if you have a pretty good knowledge of the time period you’re going to get a lot more out of the story. The setting adds to the tension and really makes everything going on more pressing. He also peppers in a few historical Easter Eggs as well as a hilarious Batman gag, which are just fun to read. Burns’ art is great overall. There is on particular panel where the bald Khan gets a great head of hair, but that’s the only thing I can put in the negative column. Burns is great with the action and really goes with an unconventional panel layout to play up the drama. Avina’s colors elevates the action scenes exponentially with the glow of the giant fire adding to the scenes between the Hornet and Khan.
Bottom Line: Dynamite delivers another fantastic pulp hero team-up with Dark Nights. Uslan writes a very cinematic story and finally gets the Shadow and Green Hornet together. The ending loses some of its punch since you know what will happen on page one of next month’s issue, but it’s a fun ride nonetheless. 4/5