Green Hornet #2
Amy Chu (Writer), German Erramouspe (Artist), Brittany Pezzillo (Colours), Tom Napolitano (Letters)
4 April, 2018
There is a new Green Hornet in Century City and she isn’t afraid to kick ass. Mulan Hayashi has taken over the mantle from Britt Reid Jr., now missing for over three weeks following a trip to Istanbul. The city needs to be protected and Mulan is the best person for the job, with her father Kato Hayashi acting as sidekick and mentor.
Though Mulan fights crime at night, during the day she is still a reporter on the city beat for The Daily Sentinel. While her father concerns himself with a mysterious entity that is buying up shares in the company, Mulan and fellow reporter Tai Thomas investigate Reid Jr.’s disappearance. Their search leads them to Istanbul, aboard the luxurious ship of one Sebastian Cabot, a friend of Reid Jr.’s. Cabot was ostensibly the last person to see Reid Jr. before his disappearance and Mulan hopes for answers. But once aboard his ship, Cabot, Mulan and Tai are attacked by masked men. Can Mulan save the day and find Reid Jr.?
Writer Amy Chu is an excellent choice for this new Green Hornet series. She brings a lot of diversity to the cast; alongside protagonists Kato and Mulan Hayashi, Chu includes Tai Thomas, who is African-American. I also like that Chu has refused to indulge in one-dimensional tropes for her characters of colour. They are fully developed as characters, with missions and narrative arcs which could easily have been written with a white character in mind. It speaks to the importance of diversity behind the scenes.
There is a fair amount of action in this comic, an improvement over the first issue, and it helps propel the story forward. Opening with an action scene is a great way to re-introduce readers to the characters and to set the pace of the story. Readers also get a glimpse into the dynamic between the father-daughter crime-fighting duo, which we had not seen much of earlier. The opening scene also works as a reminder of Green Hornet and Kato’s superhero mission—to thwart crime by pretending to be criminals. Unfortunately, this tactic means the law is never on their side.
Considering how exciting an installment this is, one has to question why the art is again so poor. I would still say that German Erramouspe has put in more effort into settings and scenery in this issue, but the characters’ faces are just so … deformed! It is frustrating to see interesting characters drawn this way especially because Brittany Pezzillo’s colours are so vibrant and full of life here, a massive improvement from the overwhelming dark shadows of the first installment. One can practically feel the Mediterranean sun on their skin reading this issue but the squashed faces immediately take one out of the comic.
Barring the character drawings, Erramouspe does try a few different things to move the action along. Insets, irregular-sized panels and sweeping panoramas make this comic much easier on the eyes than issue #1. The shot of Istanbul from the aeroplane is gorgeous; if only the characters could be drawn with a bit more detail.
Following a solid first entry, this second issue continues to build on the world of the Green Hornet. In Mulan, the series has a bright, wise and confident fighter. The first issue focused entirely on Kato Hayashi, keeping Mulan to the side, but here readers get to spend more time with her. By the end of Green Hornet #2, one is guaranteed to want to see Mulan grow more in her role as hero and reporter. Whether this will be possible, however, I am not sure. The book ends with Mulan’s Green Hornet status in a precarious position. It would be great to see the series continue with her in the green cape, though. Mulan is definitely the Green Hornet we need in 2018.