Green Hornet, Vol. 2: Birth of a Villain
Written by Mark Waid
Art by Ronilson Freire
Colors by Marcio Menyz
Letters by Troy Peteri
Collection Cover by Paolo Rivera
Release Date: November 26, 2014
Cover Price: $24.99
Green Hornet, Vol. 2 contains the final chapters of writer Mark Waid’s excellent run with Green Hornet. That’s the bad news. The good news is, we got thirteen fantastic issues of The Green Hornet from Waid, and who knows? Maybe someday he’ll come back to the character.
95% of the time, Waid can do no wrong. OK, I’m sure he’s had his misses in the past, but I really can’t think of one off the top of my head. From the industry-changing Kingdom Come to The Flash to The Fantastic Four to Empire and beyond, he’s done it all, and done it very well. This book is no exception. What we get here is what The Green Hornet is SUPPOSED to be! I’m talking about what he was created for. Fighting crime, undercover, in the 1930s. Not some updated version where changes are made just for changes sake. You get the Green Hornet being a criminal in the presence of other criminals and the police, but secretly foiling sinister criminal plots and, in a very roundabout way, saving the day. The plot is fairly intricate, but not at any time confusing or misleading. Besides that, you’ve got pretty much everything in this volume. Romance, spying, mystery, intrigue, friendship, Nazis, and a really important lesson about legacy.
Then, we have artist Ronilson Freire. Talk about awesome! This guy does it ALL! There’s a lot of talking in this book. And, because of the era that it takes place in, there aren’t very many costumed criminals around. Really, there’s just one. So what you have is a risk of confusion on the reader’s part because a lot of the villains look like “normal” people. But, Freire has that totally under control. You’re never confused about who’s who or what’s what. He gives each of the mobsters a unique look that makes them unmistakable. And I’m not even mentioning the fantastic way he lays out action, where it’s always easy and fun to follow, and his visual storytelling is near perfect.
Let me lay it out for you: you should really buy this book. It’s a great collection of the last half of Waid’s run on the series and yes, it’s the last chapter if a great big storyline, but it can be enjoyed on its own. BUT, you’re going to get a lot more enjoyment out of it if you pick up the first volume, because it’s just as great. OK, this review is over, so get moving to your local comic shop and grab this one!