I know what you’re thinking, based on all the bull you were fed from Hollywood in the 60’s that The Green Hornet and Kato was a ripoff of Batman and Robin, right???
… well stop that right now! It’s almost painful to think how 20th Century Fox f**ked both of these characters up!
The first “Green Hornet” radio program aired in 1936, created by George W. Trendle… a whole three years before The Dark Knight appeared (Actually putting Bob Kane still in high school…). Well, he is sort of a “spin-off”, but of The Lone Ranger, not Batman. John Reid (aka The Lone Ranger) had an older brother, Dan Reid. Dan is grandfather of Britt Reid (aka The Green Hornet)… you following here?
Britt Reid is publisher of the Daily Sentinel, filling out the pre-requisite that a superhero *MUST* work in a newspaper (Superman and Spiderman does it, it’s the best way to get information, and breaking news stories… unless you’re a seriously-disturbed billionaire obsessed with bats, or a college professor… then beating the piss out of a crackhead in an alley in the middle of the night will do just fine.).
His whole schtick involved getting the news of some major drug/weapon/criminal activity going down, The Green Hornet appears as a feared gangland character, comes in, and threatens the mobsters with extortion (which is hilarious irony, when you think about it.), if they don’t cut him in on a “piece of the action”. Nine times out of ten the criminals decline and orders his men to “waste them”… Kato kicks all their asses, they’re all handed to the police… and the money is anonymously dropped off to some charity in town.
Going over to Britt Reid’s home, he eventually marries his secretary (because sometimes sexual harrassment at the workplace *does* work out.), and you would never suspect that the oriental butler serving you your drink is, in fact, Bruce Lee… and he can probably kill you where you stand in two moves or less.
What’s *not to love* about these guys???? Like my other idol, Zorro, they pose as criminals, f**k authority every chance they get… and kick bad guy’s asses with style and panache.
In the 1990’s Now Comics re-introduces a totally revamped Green Hornet (But of course can’t mention The Lone Ranger because of licensing issues.) And Bruce Lee/Hayashi Kato is alive and well in this world (an alcoholic hollywood actor, who blames himself for the death of the third-generation Green Hornet… but alive.).
If they ever get around to making a new movie about The Green Hornet… it better be good. We’ve already seen Jet Li in the Kato Costume…
And stop calling them “Batman & Robin” ripoffs dammit.
- Masked Men: A Chronology of the Lone Ranger and the Green Hornet
- The official website (which *SERIOUSLY* needs to be finished.)