Friday, May 20, 2011

Wednesday Is Green Horny For All I Care #107

The All-New Batman: The Brave and the Bold #6
The Green Hornet #1 Free Comic Book Day Edition
The Green Hornet: Aftermath #1
Undying Love #1


But seriously, is there some kind of review embargo on these things? I got my copies on Monday...



The All-New Batman: The Brave and the Bold #6 (DC, 2011, $2.99)
This was a fun story from Sholly Fisch that introduces kids to the bare basics of the Detective John Jones (including supporting cast member Diane Meade,) offers a smart reason to team up with Batman, and a nice twist. The art by Rick Burchett and Dan Davis is attractive, with an attempt made to reflect the Silver Age Martian Manhunter. Like most modern efforts, they end up with more of a hybrid, with collar, bulk and glowing red eyes alien to old Joe Certa. Still, it works.



The Green Hornet #1 Free Comic Book Day Edition (Dynamite, 2010, "Free")
Now Comics probably had the biggest success with the Green Hornet, managing to keep a flagship title going over three years and a slew of spin-offs around the relative strength of nostalgia for a TV that unsuccessfully tried to ride Batmania's cape tail a quarter century prior. Dynamite was deluded enough to think the market would support four such titles in 2010 based on-- what? Now Comics, a sad little publisher that still managed a national newsstand presence? A forty-something year old TV show that lasted one season? Bruce Lee? A radio program from the '40s? Moonstones' multi-thousand copy business with the property in 2009? Anticipation for a Seth Rogen action vehicle whose release was repeatedly postponed?

I'm going to go with pure, simple hubris. Sure, they had access to an unproduced Kevin Smith screenplay that tramped around Tinseltown for much of the '90s, and of course they attached one of their top artistic talents who remains unknown to anyone who avoids Dynamite comics. That's one solid series of limited duration to manage selling a respectable fraction of what Smith's Green Arrow managed. Try to explain getting Matt Wagner, who has never really had much mainstream success, seemingly revisiting his gloryish days on the perpetually well thought of but low selling The Sandman Mystery Theater. Aaron Campbell isn't Guy Davis, but he's in the right neighborhood for Depression era heroics, so at least this was the best looking of the titles. The real WTF was The Green Hornet Strikes! with Hoose on first, Watts on second and Ida Know on third. The art style is modern, and actually a lot better than the dude on the Smith book, but he's drawing a brand new contemporary Hornet so far removed from the other Hornets that he might as well be a separate character. Maybe that was the plan, but it's so left-field and premature that Ida Knows what they were thinking. Then there's not one, but two Kato mini-series, one set in the '40s, and the other with the embreasted Smith version. Neither of the previews have dialogue, while only one had finished art & coloring, so I'll leave them be.

The commonality of the first three was a guy posturing/prancing an awful lot for a man pretending to be a crime lord. Dude, you've got a nice suit and a novel hook, so quit acting like a third rate Batman/Spider-Man knock off. That's what you have Kato for. Look cool, be smart, talk shit, and bad-man-up.



The Green Hornet: Aftermath #1 (Dynamite, 2011, $1.99)
In a rare occurrence, I was actually amused and surprised by a sight gag across a two page spread early in the book. It probably had something to do with the Hornet book I read immediately prior having the same set-up across three stories, so my expectations got bitch slapped. Unfortunately, this book peaked with the gag. Nigel Raynor continues the Dynamite tradition of Not Ready for Primetime art, but at least Jai Nitz's script tries to be funny like the movie, taking the piss out of the numerous attempts at a straight Green Hornet launched last year. Emphasis on "tries," since there's only a little bit of banter that halfway works, and the final panel alludes to getting into full-on Tick levels of ridiculous super-heroics. It isn't a bad book, yet, but it isn't really good enough for a recommendation, either.



Undying Love #1 (Image, 2011, $2.99)
John Woo style trench coat badass defends his love for an Asian vampire in China with bullets. It takes nine pages of often silent panels to get that across. Then they go to Hong Kong, check into a hotel, and reveal she survives without feeding on victims by taking syringes full of loverboy's blood. Tough guy meets an underage wizard exposition monkey who explains how to end the vampire's curse. It doesn't take much longer to read the actual comic than my summary, because it's cinematic in that way that the creators probably hope they'll get a picture deal with this as the storyboard. The art by Tomm Coker is really great, and as the co-writer he must figure a picture is worth a thousand words, but he maybe should have just released all those pictures in one complete edition. As a floppy, it's a cock tease whose quirks don't make up for being bone tired genre bullshit.

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