Once again, I’m a panelist on this weeks around comics podcast, and this time I was on a mission to defend the honor of THE GREEN HORNET . The Hornet was another early masked hero, who was right up there with Batman, The Lone Ranger, Superman in my book.
Why? Well, he was a cool Newspaper Man, who fought crime both in his crusading newspaper the Daily Sentinel by day, and delivered his vengence in person by night, with his bad ass driver/valet.
Since the new Dynamite Comics started coming out, I had heard several of my fellow comic podcasters question the “need” to have so many new Green Hornet comics out at the same time?
To them I say, if you’re not a Hornet fan, you don’t know what you’ve missed. After their 1933 sucsess with the creation of the Lone Ranger radio series, WXYZ owner Geroge W Trendle and story editor Fran Striker decided to make another hero. A Ranger for the modern era. In 1936 the Hornet radio series began on the Mutual radio network, and continued till the 1950’s. To be fair, I’m not sure that the Hornet radio show holds up. Matt Wagner told me it doesn’t, and I trust his slightly more mature ear than mine.
As a kid , I fell for the re-runs of the 1966 Van Williams Bruce Lee show.. It was produced for ABC by Howie Horwitz, the same guy who did the Adam West Batman series, but the show was closer in style to his other classic action adventure show 77 Sunset Strip, with a jazzy score, art deco design, and hard hitting action. No one on TV fought like Bruce Lee. Even my tiny 4 year old brain could process that fact.
It probably helped that my Dad drove a 1969 Oldsmobile 98, that he called The Black Beauty. It looked a little like the Lincoln Futura prototype that was redesigned for the TV series. I had the Corgi model, and to me it was as cool as Bond’s Aston Martin, or The Batmobile.
Dynamite has 3 hornet series debuting in the weeks ahead.We’ve seen the debut of the series, inspired by Kevin Smith’s unproduced screenplay for the Weinstien company . Phil Hester is adapting the script as a 10 pat comic series, with art by Jonathan Lau. Also on the way are a Golden Age year one series written by Matt Wagner, and drawn by Aaron Campbell.
Matt was on last November, and we talked a lot about his take on the Hornet.
Also Moonstone Books will be releasing a colllection of new short stories, written by guys like GH scribe Ron Fortier ,Harlan Ellison & James Van Hise plus dazzling illustrations and a dynamic cover from Ruben Procopio.
You can count on a future WB with Ruben about the book.
In the 90’s, Now Comics produced many great GH comics, including fun Golden Age stories from Chuck Dixon. the initial mini series written by Ron Fortier did a great job showing the legacy of the Reid family, from Ranger John, through 1930’s Britt, 1960’s Britt and his 90’s nephew Britt the 3rd. I’m not sure if the upcoming movie with Seth Rogen will have an impact on the price of the old Now issues, but they were still in the cheap bins the last time I looked.
So with all this new Hornet product out there, plus the Rogen film coming at Xmas, expect a lot of WB talks about this hero’s revival. I’ll probably be bugging Phil Hester soon, and Ande Parks, whose writing a Kato series. Probably Jai Nitz on his GH mini. Maybe Ron Fortier too?