JEFF PARKER: When you were a kid, were they showing the GH series on your local station? Because my first exposure to Green Hornet and Kato were on the Batman show, and I finally saw multiple episodes at a Saturday matinee.
MARK WAID: Same here. Same exposure, but for me, I’m old enough (just barely) where it was first-run to me in 1966. But I was only four, I don’t have much memory of it. I really only became cognizant of the Hornet, like you, with Batman re-runs, and I think part of the intrigue was that there were 26 episodes out there that I was dying to see. In the meantime, my dad introduced me to the 1930s radio show, and that sealed the deal for me.
JP: And back to that, Kung Fu was really big then so the whole audience was mainly there for Kato.
MW: Except for poor Burt Ward, who was reportedly scared to death of him.
JP: There’s a strong appeal in that kind of pulp hero who essentially only needs to add a mask and gloves to what he would wear anyway, you don’t have to make a big production out of getting into your butt-kicking persona. Also apropos of nothing, the Black Beauty is a pretty sweet ride.
MW: No kidding. If you don’t think the Black Beauty directly inspired the Batmobile, you’re nuts. Yeah, that appeal made him VERY easy to pretend to be in the schoolyard—a kerchief-mask, a coat and a hat and you were good to go. Beyond that, though, I really do think part of the Hornet’s appeal is the triple identity—a newspaper publisher and powerful social do-gooder by day, a crimefighter by night, and all the time pretending to be a criminal himself so he can get inside intel on the mob. That’s still a sweet set-up
JP: So level with us- Green Hornet is going to die in this story, right? You seem to be going that way, Waid. How could you?!
MW: Pfft. Look, I’m not trying to steal any dramatic tension away, but how can I kill the Hornet? It’s still 1942 in my story and he’s still got to be around in 1966 to meet Adam West or else my whole personal space-time continuum collapses.