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Longbox Junk Green Hornet Part 4: Issues 20 24

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And here we go off the rails and toward the cliff!

GREEN HORNET (Dynamite)

ISSUE 20: LIKE MY FATHER BEFORE ME

With the departure of the final remaining member of the original creative team (Phil Hester), Green Hornet's slow downward slide increases in speed with this utterly forgettable one-shot filler issue. . .

The story revolves around a Green Hornet and Kato exhibit at a museum that Britt and Mulan go to, only to have the opening crashed by one of the original Hornet and Kato's enemies. . .a white supremacy guy who has a homemade tank.

There was a pretty nice flashback to when Hornet and Kato first defeated the villain, but between the cheesecake turn the art takes on Mulan and the extremely weak villain, not to mention the ridiculous notion that a fully functional tank (Including ammunition!) would be part of a museum exhibition. . .this issue couldn't scream "FILLER!" any louder.

No bueno

ISSUE 21: THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN

Another one and done filler issue, but this one is a bit better than the last. There's an artist change and I like his bold, brighter style quite a bit. The only odd thing is the way he draws Lt. Chritton (the crooked cop blackmailing Green Hornet), changing him from a skeevy beanpole with a ginger 'fro to a chubby, fedora-wearing "Harvey Bullock" imitation.

The story revolves around an old friend of Britt's who is a washed up, drug addicted MMA fighter in an underground fight club scene. When he kills an opponent, the Hornet investigates, uncovers the ring, and shows his friend that redemption is possible. . .even if it has to come in prison.

It's a story that's been told many ways many times. . .the old "This is how I might have turned out if I'd followed a different path." sort of thing. Once again, it shouts "FILLER!" loud and proud.

All in all, nice art. . .tired story.

ISSUE 22: OUTCAST PART 1

The art takes a severe dip in quality on this first issue of the 6 part "Outcast" arc. I don't really understand why, the same artist that has done several previous issues is credited, but it looks completely different. I begin to wonder if there's an uncredited inker to blame. . .it's just strange.

ANYWAY. . .

A lot of setup in this issue. We have 3 storylines starting up here. . .First, Britt's newspaper (The Sentinel) is failing and a sleazy company wants to turn it into a sensationalist scandal rag. Second, the new mayor (after Mayor Hady was killed by Black Hornets. . .er. . .giant typewriter trap) ousts a member of his staff after being caught red handed stealing. The enraged staff member (Kent Palmer) swears revenge and hires a killer (Mister Jensen). Third, Scowl and Moonbeam (The bungling heroes who tracked down Hornet for Redhand a few issues back) are back in town. Scowl is killed trying to stop a robbery. Moonbeam teams up with Hornet to take down the gang that killed him, then he decides to stick around Century City to see if Hornet can use some help.

Okay. . .beyond the terrible art, the Moonbeam/Hornet teamup is ridiculous (He was just shooting at Hornet a few issues ago!) and forced. It's plain to see that the creators are going to bring in a new face to "Team Hornet". No bueno.

All in all this issue was pretty bad. We're on the back half of this series and it only goes downhill from here. . .

ISSUE 23: OUTCAST PART 3

The art in this issue is 100% better than last. It's actually pretty damn good. There's just a few strange points to it. . .once again, Crooked Cop Chritton goes from ginger 'fro to Harvey Bullock. . .and Mulan is drawn as a white girl with light brown hair instead of Japanese with black hair. It's strange, but MUCH better than the slop from last issue.

As for the story, more setup. . .Moonbeam is nowhere to be seen this time. Kent Palmer's plans for hired killer Mister Jensen start to be revealed as he has him dress up like Green Hornet and kill Mayor Gedder. And Britt meets with an old reporter friend of his fathers who tells him to stand his ground and not let his newspaper turn into popular scandal crap. All that and Kato Sr. announces he's going on a mysterious trip and doesn't know when he'll be back.

But oddly enough, those storylines are just given a few pages, while the bulk of the book feels like a one shot with Kato and Hornet taking down a gang of heavily-armed robbers wearing. . .sigh. . .power armor. During a ridiculous monologue, one of them reveals that they are disabled army vets the government tried to turn into super-soldiers.

Power armor. Super-soldiers. The old "Political figure hires a villain to impersonate Green Hornet" that we saw in the first arc repeated. Nice art, but the rest of it? No bueno.

ISSUE 24: OUTCAST PART 4

The art on this arc has been a real roller coaster ride. Now we're back at the bottom end of the loop. Mulan is back to being Asian, but now so is Britt! Crooked Cop Chritton goes through a THIRD transformation from Ginger 'fro, to Harvey Bullock, and now to stubbly, tired old drunk in a rumpled trenchcoat. Why?

As for the story. . .

Chritton has the tables turned on his blackmail game as he is blackmailed into helping Palmer find and kill the Green Hornet. The fake Hornet goes on a killing spree. Mulan is forced into a trap by Chritton and some of his crooked cops, and the Real and Fake Green Hornet come face to face for the first time.

Between the derivative story and the roller coaster art, this arc is pretty bad.

13 more issues to go. . .God help me.

CONCLUSION

With this batch of issues and the departure of the last member of the original creative team, Green Hornet goes from pretty good to pretty bad quickly.  I'm starting to not want to read the next issue.  The story is becoming derivative of earlier issues.  I see hints of a series departure from modern pulp into teen sidekicks and supervillains.  The art is extremely uneven.

The pain has officially begun.  Sadly, I know it just gets worse.


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