The Green Hornet is an American radio and television masked vigilante created by George W. Trendle and Fran Striker, with input from radio director James Jewell, in 1936. Since his radio debut in the 1930s, the Green Hornet has appeared in numerous serialized dramas in a wide variety of media. The character appeared in film serials in the 1940s, a network television program in the 1960s, multiple comic book series from the 1940s on.
Though various incarnations sometimes change details, in most versions the Green Hornet is the alter ego of Britt Reid, wealthy young publisher of the Daily Sentinel by day who goes out in his masked "Green Hornet" identity at night to fight crime as a vigilante. He is accompanied by his similarly masked partner and confidant, Kato, who drives their technologically advanced car, the "Black Beauty". As the Green Hornet, Reid masquerades as a criminal to infiltrate and then battle the underworld, leaving criminals and incriminating evidence behind for the police.
In 1989, NOW Comics introduced a line of Green Hornet comics, initially written by Ron Fortier and illustrated by Jeff Butler. It attempted to reconcile the different versions of the character into a multigenerational epic. This took into account the character's ancestral connection to The Lone Ranger, though due to the legal separation of the two properties, his mask covered his entire face (as in the Republic serials) and he could not be called by name. In this interpretation, the Britt of the radio series had fought crime as the Hornet in the 1930s and 1940s before retiring. In NOW's first story, in Green Hornet #1 (Nov. 1989), set in 1945, the nationality of the original Kato (named in this comic series Ikano Kato) is given as Japanese, but that because of that era's American racism toward Japanese, Reid referred to Kato as Filipino in order to prevent Kato's being sent to an American internment camp. The NOW comics considered the 1960s television character as the namesake nephew of the original, 1930s-1940s Britt Reid, referred to as "Britt Reid II" in the genealogy, who took up his uncle's mantle after a friend is assassinated. Britt Reid II eventually retired due to a heart attack, and Kato — given the first name Hayashi, after that of the first actor to play Kato on radio — goes on to become a star of ninja movies. The NOW comics established Hayashi Kato as Ikano Kato's son. Britt Reid's nephew, Paul Reid, a concert pianist, takes on the role of the Hornet after his older brother Alan, who had first taken on the mantle, is killed on his debut mission. Paul Reid is assisted by Mishi Kato, Hayashi's much-younger half-sister who was trained by Ikano Kato. Her being female caused problems between the publishers and the rights-holders, who withdrew approval of that character and mandated the return of "the Bruce Lee Kato." After Mishi's departure — explained as orders from her father to replace an injured automobile designer at the Zurich, Switzerland, facility of the family corporation, Nippon Today — Hayashi Kato returned to crime fighting alongside the Paul Reid Green Hornet. Mishi Kato returned in volume two as the Crimson Wasp, following the death of her Swiss police-officer fiancé, on orders of a criminal leader. In NOW's final two issues, vol. 2, #39-40, a fourth Kato — Kono Kato, grandson of Ikano and nephew of Hayashi and Mishi — took over as Paul Reid's fellow masked vigilante. The comics also introduced Diana Reid, the original Britt Reid's daughter, who had become district attorney after the TV series' Frank Scanlon had retired. A romantic relationship eventually formed between her and Hayashi Kato. NOW's first series began in 1989 and lasted 14 issues. Volume Two began in 1991 and lasted 40 issues, ending in 1995 when the publisher went out of business. Kato starred solo in a four-issue miniseries in 1991, and a two-issue follow-up in 1992, both written by Mike Baron. He also wrote a third, first announced as a two-issue miniseries, then as a graphic novel, but it was never released due to the company's collapse. Tales of the Green Hornet, consisting of nine issues spread out over three volumes (two, four, and three issues, respectively), presented stories of the two previous Hornets. Volume One featured Green Hornet II, and its story was written by Van Williams, star of the 1960s TV series. The follow-ups were written by James Van Hise. Other miniseries included the three-issue The Green Hornet: Solitary Sentinel; the four-issue Sting of the Green Hornet, set during World War II; the three-issue Dark Tomorrow (June-Aug. 1993), featuring a criminal Green Hornet in 2080 being fought by the Kato of that era. Discounting depictions of the cars utilized by the 1940s and 1960s Hornets, there were two versions of the Black Beauty used in the NOW comic series. The first was based on the Pontiac Banshee. The second was a four-door sedan based on the 91-96 Oldsmobile 98 Touring Sedan
In March 2009, Dynamite Entertainment announced it had acquired the license to produce Green Hornet comic books. Its first release was a miniseries written by Kevin Smith. Revamped in 2010 as an ongoing series set in modern times, the new Green Hornet stars Britt Reid, Jr., the rebellious and spoiled son of Britt Reid, Sr., now a retired industrial and family man. When Britt Sr. is slain by the Black Hornet, a yakuza mobster whose family was shamed by the original Green Hornet, the aging but still fit Kato returns. With his daughter, Mulan Kato, who has taken over the costumed identity of her father, he brings Britt Jr. to China for training and safekeeping as he becomes the new Green Hornet.
Battle vs. Jensen "Frankenstein" Ames (by KevlarNinja)
It's another night of patrol for The Green Hornet and Kato. Kato added a police scanner to the Black Beauty. Suddenly, a police officer sends a messege. "Calling all cars, calling all cars, need assistance takeing down one Jensen Ames. He's escapeing from prison in a modified Fifth Generation Ford Mustang. Last seen near the highway, over." The Green Hornet looks over at Kato. "Looks like we're hitting the highway, Kato." Soon there on the freeway, looking for the Mustang. Then, from the overpass above, the Mustang (Frankenstein's Monster) breaks though the rails, and flys onto the highway! The Hornet sees all the weapons on the car. He asks "Kato, have you been makeing cars for someone else?" "No," answers Kato, "I would never make something so ugly." The Hornet agrees "You got a point. The bumper looks like it was stung on by a bee." Kato adds "Let's put it out of it's misery." and they both chuckle. Kato presses a button and two M1919's come out. They shoot at the back bumper, but the bullets bounce off! Then the bumper, the Tombstone, comes off! Kato swerves out of the way, but it hits a cop car and a rookie leaning out the window with a shotgun falls out onto the side of the road, with a few scrapes.
Jensen Ames sees the Black Beauty in his back window. He heard about it in prison. Alot of guys in there were there because of him. "Let's do this." says Ames. He swerves around and starts driveing backwards and fireing his M134's at the Black Beauty. "Oh S***! This guy has skills! Let's see if there a challenge for you, Kato." says the Hornet. "Now all we need is some high-action music." he adds. Kato pulls out a record and puts it in the car's record player. "I got just the thing." Kato says as Guns N' Roses Welcome to the Jungle starts playing on the stereo. "Nice work, Kato." comments the Hornet. The Black Beauty drives up to the Monster, but Jensen Ames sends out a smoke screen. Kato drives out of it, but it causes a multiple car pile-up (no one is injured). Kato drives right beside Ames and turns the Beauty's spinning rim blades out on the side of the car. It damages the Mustang and one of the blades makes a small cut on Ames leg. He yells out and flips the two heros the bird. Then he drives ahead and unleashes an oil slick. For a few seconds, it looks like the Beauty is going to hit a cop car, but Kato regains traction at the last second. The Beauty catches up with Ames and starts fireing beanbags at his back window. Ames answers back by unleashing his Napalm fuel tank. It flies though the air, but when it lands and explodes, it lands on an condemned building, so no one is hurt. Kato drives ahead of Ames and starts driveing backwards like Ames did earlier. He starts shooting flames from the flamethrower at Ames, but he swerves out of the way goes back ahead agian. Kato turns around and sees a tanker truck ahead. This gives him an idea. He fires a rocket. The Hornet sees the rocket miss Ames and heading straight ahead for the tanker. "KATO!" he shouts, "What are you doing!?!?!? Your going to get us killed!!!!!!" Kato answers calmly "No we won't." He pulls the leaver that sets off the ejecter seats. The rockets blows up the tanker, causing that part of the freeway to collapse and Ames to crash! The Black Beauty, meanwhile, crashes into a police roadblock just ahead of the expolsion.
The Hornet and Kato land on the ground right beside the freeway. They check the car, but no one is there! The Hornet asks "Where did he go?". Suddenly, Jensen Ames runs behind the Hornet with a piece of rebar from the free way! "Quick, duck!" shouts Kato. The Green Hornet does so and Kato jumps though the air and kicks Jensen, sending him flying into a wall and snaping his neck. "I've had ants put up more of a fight then him." says Kato. As the Green Hornet and Kato sneak off into the night, the Green Hornet says "This will make a great headline!".
Winner: The Green Hornet
Battle vs. the Joker (Comics) and Harley Quinn (Comics) alongside Kato (by DexterMaximus)
The Joker is prowling around the dark streets of Gotham, with his girlfriend and partner of crime Harley Quinn by his side. He stops, he thinks he can hear something in the distance. Sure enough, the sound of a car fills the air. A black car pulls up by the side of the road. Two masked men get out. They seem to be arguing. One of the men, the driver, has a slight Japanese accent to his voice. Joker and Harley listen to what they are saying. "Look, Kato, just answer me. Why did you drive me out to this dark, creepy, Gottam place?" the passenger asked, clearly frustrated. The driver, Kato, sighed. "For the last time, Britt, it's pronounced Gotham." The pair continue arguing, while The Joker turns to Harley. "I don't like the look of them. I'm gonna...have a word with them, you stay there. I'll call to you if I need you, okay?" Harley nods in agreement. Joker gets out a crowbar, as he approaches them. "Well, well, well. What's going on here, boys?" he says. Kato and Britt stop arguing, and look at him. "Who are you?" asks Britt. "My name is Joker. What makes you come to Gotham, then?" he replies, still verbally pressuring them, but keeping his smile - not that he has any choice."I don't know. I'm trying to get Kato to tell me, but..." Britt complained. Kato looks warily at the newcomer. It's too dark for them to see his face, but the driver leans into the car and switches on the headlights, revealing Joker's white face and red-cut smile. They both jump back, avoiding a sudden swing from the crowbar. Kato pulls out a pair of nunchuks, swinging them around, taking swipes at Joker. The Joker ducks down, avoiding a swing from the nunchuks, and hits Kato in the shoulder. Kato winces, but carries on fighting. The Joker wais purposley for another swing from the nunchuks, and then ducks down, and grabs Kato's weapon, when the swing ends. He pulls the nunchuks down, bringing Kato down with them. He whacks the driver in the back with the crowbar, causing him to shout in pain. Joker lets out a maniacal laugh, before shouting "Where's Batman now? Where's Batman now?" before getting ready to deposit another swing of the metal bar. Suddenley, Britt rugby tackles Joker, bringing them both to the floor. His crowbar skids across the road into the distance.
Kato gets back up, carefully, and props himself up against the car door. Meanwhile, The Joker kicks out at Hornet, sending him onto his back. As they both get up, they face each other, and Britt pulls out a Gas Gun. He pulls the trigger, firing out a metal canister, which hits the Joker in the shoulder. It stars leaking gas, and the Joker starts laughing maniacally. His hand moves to his lapel, which has a flower on it. He presses a button in his suit, and green liquid squirts from the flower. It hits Britt in the face, burning him. Joker laughs, and attempts to get closer to Britt, but nearly collapses on the floor. The gas has taken effect. He tries to grab Britt's leg, but Britt, partially stunned, just manages to jump back. Instead, Joker rolls on his back and fires another stream of acid at Britt. This time it hits his shoulder, which burns him even more.
Joker, coughing and spluttering, manages to get up. He pulls out two revolvers, and fires one of them at Hornet, who runs back to the car. Kato, now fully recovered, retrieves his USP Compact, advancing towards Joker. Kato fires at The Joker, but he easily dodges the bullets. He fires some more at Kato, but one of the bullets from the USP hits his revolver, smashing it, sending it out of is hand. Instead, he swings the other revolver round, and pulls the trigger. A red flag on a pole pops out, with the word "BANG!" written on it. Kato looks confused, staring at the flag. "Do you think this is some kind of jo-" He is interupted by a metal spike, a harpoon, firing out of the gun. It lodges in Kato's shoulder, injuring it again, and he curses. He tries to kick out at Joker, but falls on his back. The Joker gives another of his maniac laughs, before turning to Hornet. He is looking for him, before being struck on the shoulder by Kato, who managed to get up.
Kato takes up a karate stance. but Joker simply dodges his attacks, pulling out some cards, and throwing them at Kato. The cards cut his face, being razor-sharp on the edges. He shouts again, swinging out at Joker in a blind rage, but Joker simply dodges him, and slices his bad shoulder with a card. Kato then runs over to the car, getting in, Hornet's already with him
. They turn to face Joker with the car. Hornet pointed the miniguns at Joker, who called over to Harley. "Yes, darling?" she asked, before seeing the car and miniguns. She told him to stand back, and set up a bazooka from her bag. As she was setting it up, she had to dodge several blasts from the minigun. She pulled up the bazooka, and fired it at the car. Green Hornet managed to jump away, but Kato was in the car at the time of the impact. Kato was thrown several metres to the side, his body smoking, nearly on fire. It was over for him, he was dead. Green Hornet was out of the car, but was caught in the explosion. He was thrown to the floor. He was weak and injured. Joker walked up to him and lifted his body. "I think you know what this lesson means. This is my turf. No time for goodie-goodie two-shoes like you." he spat, before putting him back on the floor, as the last breat left his mouth.
Winner: The Joker and Harley Quinn