Game of Thrones, Green Hornet, Dark Shadows, and More Dynamite Reviews [Spoilers]

Today we’ve got a bunch of quick hit reviews of this week’s Dynamite Entertainment titles for you, including the new Game of Thrones, Green Hornet, and more. And tread carefully, there may be some minor spoilers here:

Green Hornet Annual #2: I’ll start this off by saying, having read a good chunk of Dynamite’s Green Hornet offerings off and on over the past couple of years: I was shocked at how good, how tightly written, and how extremely well drawn this was; from scenes set in a board room, to action, this is a dynamic book from start to finish. In fact, you might not guess it from the generic looking cover, but this book is mostly about how to fix the newspaper industry.

Yes, there’s some punching, and a generic “case” for the Green Hornet and Kato to handle involving human trafficking (seriously, I think “container full of sickly/dead women” is this year’s “blowing up a whole town,” as far as villain plots go). But for the most part, this is an actually thoughtful attack on the death of print, and how – if not to prevent it – at least forestall it. Writer Mark Rahner also makes a great case for why GH’s alter ego Britt Reid is a playboy character far different from say, a Bruce Wayne, or even a Clark Kent.

And Ronan Cliquet’s pencils are great, with clear compositions and action scenes, as well as female Kato that eschews T&A for a strong character look that makes her on par with the Hornet. Last but not least, I want to commend the team for using a rather unique and cinematic panel structure, juxtaposing a serious conversation about Britt’s newspaper, with scenes of him kicking criminal butt. Exciting, energetic, and even pretty funny at parts… I don’t know that I’ll be adding the whole of Dynamite’s Hornet line to my pull list, but if this team works on more, I’ll eagerly pick ‘em up.

Kirby: Genesis #5: Okay, please forgive me, but I read the first two issues of this series, missed the next couple, and then picked up issue five to read expecting to be able to at least understand what’s going on. Instead, I found that everything had gone totally bat-spit insane, with talking monkeys, giant mythic creatures, and insane battles encompassing hundreds of characters, all with their own motivations and lines. This comic resembles nothing less or more than what my bedroom floor looked like after I lined up all my action figures and had them fight each other as a kid.

With those qualifications? It’s awesome. It barely makes sense if you did miss a few issues (or possibly even one issue), but it’s the sort of crazy that makes me want to know more, not less. And given that writer Kurt Busiek is perfectly channeling Kirby’s creation myth fetish here – as well as throwing in a cliffhanger that makes things EVEN CRAZIER, I’ll make sure not to miss another issue.

Game of Thrones #5: I was particularly frustrated with the haphazard way the first few issues of this series seemed to present a greatest hits collection of George R.R. Martin’s first book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, without most of the coherence, or soul. This issue is a small step forward, though a lot of the faults (generic looking characters, poor transitions, no real sense of cohesive action) are still there. The dialogue is a bit better, particularly as things are finally starting to move in the narrative; and let’s be honest, Joffrey is a douche in any medium, and that’s always fun to read. Still, this has yet to make a compelling argument for why this should be a comic book, and that’s unfortunate.

Dark Shadows #3: Fans of the TV show and its reboot should be right at home here (though we’re guessing its far less twee than the upcoming Johnny Depp movie will be). Meaning, it’s gothic, and very, very serious about itself. That’s a little tiring to the casual fan of the franchise like myself (I’ve seen episodes here and there, and read this book, of course), but for the long time fan, there’s supernatural pay-offs a-plenty.

All four of these titles hit comic book stores on Wednesday, January 25th, 2012 from Dynamite Entertainment.

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