GREEN HORNET 10/VAMPIRELLA 1
Written by Kevin Smith and Drawn by Phil Hester and Jonathan Lau
Written by Eric Trautmann and Drawn by Wagner Reis
Published by Dynamite Entertainment
Reviewed by Marc Mason
GREEN HORNET 10 brings to a close the adaptation of Kevin Smith’s unused film script, and it deserves special note for more than one reason. First, this makes for ten issues in ten months- Smith’s longstanding reputation for lateness made the fanboy set skeptical about this book, but there was no need. The job here got done and it got done on time. As an added bonus, this turned out to be surprisingly good. The Green Hornet was never really a well-defined character, but Smith worked hard to change that. At the end of this story, he has purpose and direction, as well as a definitive villain. Most great heroes are defined by the quality of their opponents (Lex Luthor, Doctor Octopus, Doctor Doom, etc.) and that was something that this character had always lacked. The climax here also plays with a very standard action movie trope and resolves it in a way that’s funny and clever. Start to finish, this has worked. Going forward with Phil Hester writing, I expect more of the same.
Next up on the pulp fiction character revamp is VAMPIRELLA 1, which sees the ol’ girl relocated to Seattle and wearing pants while on the trail of Dracula and his minions. It’s the pants part that’s caused all the controversy amongst the fanboy set; Vampirella is considered the original “bad girl” and her skimpy costume was a badge of honor. But ultimately, the character is only as good as the stories she is written into. Here Trautmann takes her to a new locale, adding something different to the mix- we’ve seen her in New York City for years upon years, and milieu adds new textures and challenges for a character. Smart move. It also justifies the long pants- In New York, crazy people run around in fucked up clothing as a matter of normal. In Seattle, in order to blend amongst the populace and achieve her goals, Vampi needs to look a bit more like everybody else until the fangs come out and she starts kicking ass. Oh, don’t worry- plenty of ass gets kicked, from gangbangers to corrupt vampire cops, to waltzing into a den full of nasty vamps that want her dead, the action is all here. Good start to the new phase for the character.