Kevin Smith’s Kato #1 – Review
Dynamite delivers another interesting Green Hornet story tie-in with a tale tale that follows two families: The first is Kato's family. He's returned to Japan, married a young, beautiful woman and has a pretty but rebellious daughter named Mulan. The head of the Juuma family is Hirohito Juuma. Hirohito's father was sent to prison in America by Kato and Green Hornet, where he eventually died.
Hirohito runs a successful video game company and several Yakuza business. He's plagued by his siblings' incompetence and cares only to restore his family's honor. His father taught him as a child that you do not rest until your family's honor is restored. If that means blowing up someone's business, then so be it. Hirohito practices day and night in a simulation( created by his company) where he can fight Kato and Green Hornet. His problem is that they're too easy to kill. This man lusts for their blood and is willing to destroy his companies in order to exact his revenge.
Kato on the other hand, lives a quiet life training others in the ways of Martial Arts. One of his students is Mulan. It would be typical at this point to have Kato refuse to train Mulan, forcing her to learn in secret, but that's not the case. Mulan is instead required to train when she doesn't want to. She likes to fight--- but would rather party. Kato's lesson is interrupted by Mulan's cell phone, causing him to confiscate her phone. Mulan may have a bit too much of both of her parents personalities in her, and storms off to Tokyo. At this point in the story both families are put on a collision path, in which Kato must face his past.
Ande Parks (Daredevil: Blood of the Tarantula) is able to fit this story into the world of Kevin Smith's Green Hornet seamlessly. The issue has a strong narrative coming from Hirohito on his journey to revenge. Readers may find the characters to be one-dimensional as Parks builds their personalities very slowly. The only real stand out character of the issue is Kato's wife. She's strong, beautiful and full of wisdom. One thing that is a little inconsistent with the story is where exactly it fits in with Green Hornet. It feels like the exact same universe. A time-line would help with the chain of events in both series.
The art team of Ale Garza (Gen 13) and Diego Bernard (The Man With No Name) combine for some decent visuals. The characters, for the most part, all have the same body structure with an impressive amount of muscles. The female characters are very beautiful but lack the details to make them really attractive. The art stays true to Dynamites' standards by being visually impressive and colored wonderfully.
This issue does a good job of standing on its own in the Kevin Smith Hornet Universe, but it plays it safe. The book saves the adventure for the end pages to bring the reader back for the second issue. Not that it shouldn't do that, but the first issue should be more powerful of a story. As it stands, the second issue is looking to be really good and take the chances that the first should have.
Overall Score - 8.0/10
If you miss J. Scott Campbell's interior art then you might find yourself really liking this book. Follow Dustin on Twitter and ask him anything on FormSpring.