Review: Mark Waid’s The Green Hornet #3

Unsurprisingly, Mark Waid and co. presents another great issue of The Green Hornet.

GHWaid03-Cov-RiveraIn this issue, Britt Reid continues to go down. His success as the Green Hornet has gone to his head, and we find him taking greater risks than ever before, both as Green Hornet and Britt Reid. The evolution of his character is amazing; we’re only three issues in and Waid has already begun a transition from classic protagonist to dangerous anti-hero.

(Spoilers) Issue #3 opens to find the Hornet and Kato trapped by the police in a butcher shop; this scene, in the very beginning, illustrates to us Reid’s arrogance and his developing moral blindness, a theme which is carried on throughout this issue and colors our every interaction with his character. To get out of the predicament, he bribes and threatens Lt. Dugan, an honest cop with a sick wife. In doing so he crosses a line, and his following interaction with Kato proves to us that Kato realizes it as well, laying the foundation for his departure later in the issue.

The bribe isn’t the only moment of Reid’s moral collapse. He uses his paper to sling mud on one of his oldest acquaintances, using evidence that is even less than circumstantial. So sure is he in his own crusade that he has no problem libeling a colleague, and he doesn’t realize that his own journey is blinding him to his coming downfall. The colleague’s death at the end of the issue puts a capper on Reid’s lack of code, and foreshadows greater violence to come. And towards the end of the book, he decides to run for mayor, promising political intrigue as well. Britt Reid’s upcoming political run is an exciting prospect for a reader: access to new levels of power and influence will put further strain on Reid’s already weak moral compass.

Again, unsurprisingly, the art in this book is fantastic. Characters are always consistent and Daniel Indro is a master of shadow and mood. The opening scene in the basement of the butcher shop is close and cramped, giving the pages a sense of claustrophobia and danger. A third of the way through the book is a scene in which Green Hornet and Kato have to rescue their car from a tow truck. While that sounds incredibly boring, I know, the way it’s drawn is nothing short of electric. Everything flows so smoothly and Indro gives the cars such a sense of motion that the short sequence seems like a Hollywood car chase.

One thing that really impresses me about the art is its lack of flash. I realize that sounds like an insult, but it’s not. Too often artists resort to splash pages and dramatic, showy panels due to a lack of storytelling ability. Daniel Indro presents the reader with page after page of clearly laid out art design. This allows Indro and Waid to tell a complex story in an engaging and interesting way. Such a deep narrative would certainly falter under the weight of huge splash pages, and Indro’s evocative, competent art and easily readable pages are perfect for this kind of intricate and emotional storytelling.

Before he leaves, Kato accuses Britt Reid of acting like a god, “casting thunderbolts” from on high. I look forward to reading more of this series to see exactly how high Reid gets before his inevitable fall. I wonder who will cast the bolt that strikes him.

Story: Mark Waid Art: Daniel Indro
Story:9 Art: 8.5 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Dynamite Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.