I imagine most young people only know the Green Hornet as the crappy Seth Rogan film that came out a few years ago. A film that actually had some comedic potential when Stephen Chow was attached to it not only as the Kato character but also sitting in the directors chair. That all changed when he left the project and it became the mediocre boring film it is. However The Green Hornet has a much longer history going back to the 1930’s where it started as a radio serial. Later it became a part of the Saturday matinee serials that played in film houses throughout the 1940’s before TV became a factor. But it perhaps became most noteworthy for the short lived TV version that aired in for just 26 episodes in 1966-67. This series found an unknown Chinese actor by the name of Bruce Lee playing the Hornet’s sidekick, Kato! When I was a kid and watched old re-runs of this show it was Kato that I found the most exciting and cool part of the show. The car, the Black Beauty was probably second and The Hornet was last. Bruce Lee’s Kato was pretty amazing and it was very progressive for its time to have an Asian man playing a main character in the 1960’s. Remember during this same time period they had a very non-asian David Carradine playing a Chinese immigrant in “Kung Fu”.
So recently I’ve been reading Kevin Smiths Green Hornet Comic book series. Its based of his unfilmed screenplay he wrote for a Hornet film long before Seth Rogan stepped into the Green Fedora, and its pretty damn good! The series begins with the original Britt Reid and Kato back in the day doing their thing to fool criminals into thinking their on their side but in reality the duo are cleaning up the streets and making Century City Safe! They pull off one last job that assures the safety of the city for a long time to come and decide to hang up their masks and move on with their lives. Britt Reid is a new father with a newborn son while Kato decides to return to Japan and clean up the corruption there. (more…)