Tagged: Green Hornet

The Law Is A Ass #415: The Green Hornet Throws A Tamper Tantrum

I think the Green Hornet is starting to believe his own press clippings.

The Green Hornet is a hero who pretends to be a villain. By day he’s Britt Reid, publisher of Chicago’s The Daily Sentinel newspaper. At night, Britt dresses up as the Green Hornet and pretends to be the secret crime boss of Chicago. He uses his guise as a villain to infiltrate criminal organizations and thwart them. And get the bad guys arrested. So sometimes he does some bad things but for the right reasons. Only now I think he’s starting to believe he is a criminal, because in The Green Hornet: Reign of the Demon #1, he started doing bad things for the wrong reasons.

According to the back story of Reign of the Demon, several months ago the Green Hornet took down crime lord Vito Cerelli. Apparently, the Hornet indicated that he was going to retire and some people believed that nonsense. I called it nonsense because, like nature, organized crime in comic books abhors a vacuum. As soon as one crime boss is overthrown, another comes in to take over. Making the Green Hornet needed all over again. Let’s face it, The Green Hornet had about as much chance of retiring as all 5’7” of me has of slam dunking on Dikembe Mutombo. Britt Reid’s former secretary, Lenore Case, was one of those people who believed he was going to retire the Green Hornet and she didn’t think that was a good idea. So she set out to change his mind. By robbing a bank as the Green Hornet.

Yes, you read that right. Lenore Case took her boss’s Green Hornet costume and equipment and used it to rob a bank. Then she allowed herself to get arrested with the Green Hornet costume. All this to “make [Britt] see that giving up being the Green Hornet was a bad idea.” How Lenore expected that to convince Britt not to retire the Green Hornet, I’m not sure and that’s a problem. Green Hornet’s chauffeur, Kato, is the Asian member of the group. He’s the one who’s supposed to be inscrutable.

Britt didn’t want Lenore to “rot in prison” so he devised a plan to spring her. The Green Hornet and Kato broke into police headquarters. They stole the Green Hornet costume Lenore used from its box in the Evidence Room and replaced it. When the district attorney took what he thought was a Green Hornet costume out of the box to show the jury, he pulled out a clown costume instead.

The trial judge gave the prosecutor a one-hour continuance to try to find the physical evidence, which, obviously, the prosecutor couldn’t do. So one hour later, because, “the state has evidently misplaced all of its supposed evidence against Miss Case,” the judge dismissed all the charges against her. Moreover, given that the trial had started when the judge dismissed the case, Lenore couldn’t be tried again. Once a trial has started, jeopardy has attached for double jeopardy purposes and if the case is dismissed, the defendant can’t be tried again. So Lenore walked on the bank robbing charges, not just then but for all time.

Usually when the Green Hornet does something bad, it’s to stop a criminal operation and bring the criminals to justice. Here the Green Hornet tampered with evidence and obstructed justice – both felonies so I’d call them bad things – to keep a bank robber from being convicted and punished. That’s not a good thing, that’s another bad thing.

If it’s not bad enough that the Green Hornet let a bank robber escape justice, he also hurt other people in the process. Remember, Lenore did rob the bank. So the prosecutor wasn’t doing anything wrong when he prosecuted her. And the police officer in charge of the evidence room was doing what he was supposed to do by storing Lenore’s Green Hornet costume as evidence to be used against her in trial. But the Green Hornet made these two innocent officers of the law look incompetent and have probably ruined their careers in the process. And all to help a guilty bank robber. So, yay!

Of course, the Green Hornet had help in obstructing justice in Lenore’s case from the least likely source. The judge presiding over the trial.

The judge felt that because the state had misplaced all of its evidence against Lenore, he had “no choice but to dismiss all charges.” Which was a bit precipitous on his part. A bit? It was a whole monsoon of precipitous. The judge shouldn’t have dismissed the charges, because there is no way that box contained all the evidence the state had against Lenore.

The chief of police didn’t say, “Someone wearing a Green Hornet costume just robbed a bank, round up the usual suspects. Oh, and while you’re at it, better bring all the secretaries in the city for good measure.” No, the police have to have followed some trail of evidence which led them to Lenore. The story didn’t say what that evidence was but it doesn’t matter what it was. What matters is that there had to have been some evidence which led the police to Lenore Case. Evidence other than that Green Hornet costume which disappeared.

The prosecutor could still have tried the case against Lenore. He could have introduced all of the other evidence that led the police to Lenore in the first place. He could then have introduced the testimony of the officers who arrested Lenore and found the Green Hornet costume in her possession. There was enough other evidence that the case could – should – have gone forward.

Sure the defense attorney could have attacked the credibility of the state’s case, because someone misplaced the Green Hornet costume. And maybe the jury would have found her not guilty for that reason. But that was no reason for the judge not to let the trial continue. The state had other evidence and it should have been allowed to make its case as best it could.

Makes me wonder what they taught that judge in judging school. Other than how to be snarky, that is.

Mike Gold: Polishing Icons

lone-rangergreen-hornet-1There was a time when it was generally perceived that iconic heroic fantasy characters such as The Lone Ranger, The Green Hornet, The Shadow and Buck Rogers were so popular for so long that they would be around forever. I think of that whenever somebody alleges Superman and Spider-Man will be around forever. Times change, as do our cultural predilections and venues.

Nonetheless, those heroes have become part of our cultural fabric. Most Americans (at least) who have neither read, seen, nor heard the adventures of these characters have heard their names and have some vague idea of their modus operandi. Just as DC Entertainment has kept Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman “alive” through their comic books while merchandisers and movie producers such as Michael Uslan could enhance their visibility through their more profitable endeavors.

Right now all of the retired heroic fantasy characters I mentioned above are being kept alive by our friends at Dynamite Entertainment, along with such other icons as John Carter, Vampirella, Flash Gordon, and Zorro. I can’t say I’ve read all of these comics as, sadly, I must take time out for eating, sleeping, and the time-consuming effort of trying to catch up with my TiVo. But I have a thing for iconic characters so I’ve read a whole lot of them, most recently the just-completed five-part Lone Ranger / Green Hornet crossover.

This series takes the opportunity to flesh in one of the most interesting concepts in American heroic fantasy. The Lone Ranger was created in 1933 at Detroit radio station WXYZ (Detroit) radio station by station owner George W. Trendle and/or staff writer Fran Striker, accounts differ. A half-dozen Texas Rangers were ambushed by the Butch Cavendish gang, who slaughtered five of the group and were under the impression they killed all six. The Ranger-in-charge, Captain Daniel Reid, was killed but his brother John (a retconned first name) survived and he took upon himself the name and identity of The Lone Ranger.

lone-rangergreen-hornet-2The radio show was so successful that Trendle launched a contemporary themed character named The Green Hornet. It was a modern-time version of The Lone Ranger in all respects: John’s horse Silver was replaced by a car called the Black Beauty, sidekick Tonto was replaced by sidekick Kato, and masked man John Reid was replaced by masked man Britt Reid.

You might have noticed a similarity there. Britt Reid was the grandson of Captain Dan Reid, which means he was John Reid’s grandnephew. Explained in a trio of radio programs after World War II, this was a truly rare and exciting continuity event for its time.

If you do the math and you keep the Green Hornet in his original milieu, it is possible that a rather healthy John Reid could have met his grandnephew and, within a stretch of reason, could have teamed up with his younger relative.

Or so thought comics writer Michael Uslan, who I already noted is a movie producer. He happens to a producer of all the Batman films made over the several decades. But Michael started out (so to speak) as a comic book writer, and has repeatedly proven himself to be one of the best. Our loss has been the movie industry’s gain, and somebody at Marvel Studios owes him one hell of a nice meal.

Michael remains a geek culture expert and a historian, so taking on the Lone Ranger and the Green Hornet allows him the opportunity to dive deep into the waters of comics continuity as well as American history. As he has in past projects, Michael explains the historical links in the back of each issue. I’ve been trying to catch him in a mistake for a long, long time. It’s futile, but I can’t help it. I share his love of American cultural history, and I admire his work.

It’s fun to read this ultimate “What If” story. Artist Giovanni Timpano is certainly worthy of the effort; drawing them horses in the big city landscape ain’t easy. The five-part Lone Ranger / Green Hornet crossover is a good solid comic book story, even for those who could care less about the iconic status of its stars.

But if you do care, it’s even better.

Dennis O’Neil: The Boys Who Film Batman

Boy Who Loved BatmanMessrs. Pisani and Uslan, step into the spotlight, center stage and take a bow!

But before we deliver the plaudits, we should perhaps tell you who they are. Of course most of you already know, but there are always a few… well, I don’t want to call them “retards” because that is not politically correct and a crummy thing to say besides, so let’s just identify them as folk who choose not to mingle either physically or intellectually (by acquiring new information) and thus may not be acquainted with the existence of the gentlemen named above.

Mike Uslan is the possessor of the world’s only doctorate in comics, He is a professor at his alma mater, Indiana University, the recipient of a Daytime Emmy, a writer who once worked at DC Comics and he has a producer credit on every Batman movie released since 1989. (For more information, see Mike’s autobiography, The Boy Who Loved Batman, available from Amazon and other book stores.) Trust me – I could go on.

I don’t know exactly how to identify Ken Pisani. I met him a decade or so ago when Marifran, a camera guy, and sound guy and I joined him on a cavernous sound stage in lower Manhattan. The occasion was Ken’s interviewing me for a History Channel documentary on comics. The interview was extraordinarily good and Ken and his lovely wife Amanda have been friends ever since. I’d like to see Ken’s resume because I’m pretty sure he’s done a lot I’m not aware of – he does keep busy being a TV producer, a comic book writer/creator, a screenwriter, a novelist, an art director, a cartoonist…once upon a time, he even worked for Phil Seuling, the man who virtually invented the comic book direct sales market. Amanda knows the full catalog of Ken’s accomplishments. I, alas, do not.

Anyway, that’s Mike and Ken, and I hope they’re taking that bow.

The reason I mention them now is that Ken recently sent me some DVDs from a TV series that ran on Turner’s movie channel. The subject under discussion was the relationship of comic book to early movie serials. The format was the master of ceremonies talking with the comics expert who was – aw, you guessed it – our own Mike Uslan. After a few minutes informative conversation the MC screened two chapters of the serial we’d just heard Mike commenting on. The shows were educational and entertaining – more feathers for the Uslan cap – and they may have taught us comics geeks stuff that we didn’t know. This kind of historical background may not help us do stories, us creator types – I really haven’t decided about that – but it’s kind of nifty to know it.

By the way, in case you’re really out of touch… movie serials were short films shown with main features telling a story over 12 to 15 chapters, each chapter ending with the hero or other good guy in some kind in some kind of horrible quandary. The idea was, you’d return the following week to see how the hero escapes the quandary. Theoretically, you could return to see the hero squashed like a bug, but I don’t think that ever happened. At least, Mike didn’t mention it.

(Editor’s Addendum: Mr. Uslan has been back at writing comics every once in a while, and once again has given us some of the best stuff on the racks. His six-part Lone Ranger / Green Hornet series will be released by Dynamite Comics in July.)

Ed Catto: Ron Fortier, Pulp Fiction & Geek Culture


Geek Culture is a big term that’s used to describe various aspects of Pop Culture. Comics, superhero movies, games and graphic novels are at the center of it all, but it’s a big crazy quilt composed of so much more: anime, cosplay, RPG’s… the list goes on and on. This week, I sat down with one of the standard bearers of another flavor of Geek Culture – modern pulp fiction. Ron Fortier is a writer, a publisher and an all around good guy to chat with over a beer.

620923Ed Catto: Ron, it’s a pleasure to have this opportunity to speak with you. I was first introduced to your comics writing, and especially loved your work, on Now Comics’ Green Hornet series. Can you provide me with a little background on your comics career and that series in particular?

Ron Fortier: Hi Ed, happy to be here, my friend. As I recall, I came home from the military in 1968 and immediately got back into comic collecting… and writing. Really wanted to break into the business and all that happened in 1976 when I sold my first story to Charlton Comics out of Connecticut. Shortly after that I was approached Mike Friedrich of Star-Reach Agency and signed on as a client. It was Mike who prompted me to go to the San Diego Con in 1989. There I met the good people at Now Comics and landed the job of writing the Terminator series for them. Before leaving the con, I gave them my proposal for a new Green Hornet comic series. Four months later they called to say they’d gotten the license, based on my proposal, and gave me the go ahead to start writing the book for them.

EC: As a guy named Catto, I’ve always liked the Green Hornet’s sidekick, Kato. You introduced some fresh innovations in the Now Comics series, and I feel your clever innovations have almost become “industry standards” for reboots. What do you think?

HornetRF: Honestly, Ed, I think my major innovation was eschewing the whole reboot from scratch idea in the first place and instead incorporate all the various incarnations that came before. By creating a family saga that started with the characters from their radio days through the two cliffhanger serials and the popular 60s TV series, I was purposely attracting all the Green Hornet fans to one book. So you could say, I inadvertently invented what has since become known as “legacy characters” in the industry.

EC: In retrospect, it seemed pretty gutsy to develop a new publishing imprint like Now. What do you think they did right and what could they have done better?

RF: That’s a rather easy one. Now followed the old 60s Dell Comics formula of going after licensed properties from film and TV. By the time we did the Green Hornet for them, they were already doing comics based on Ghostbusters, Speed Racer, Terminator and Fright Night to name a few. If something is popular in one medium, you’ve a pretty good shot at selling it in another. As to what they did wrong, well that’s the business end. They couldn’t manage their cash flow and soon were not paying their creators or distributors, which eventually cause them to go into bankruptcy. Really a shame. With smart business practices they could still be around today.

Air-16EC: The Green Hornet wasn’t really a Pulp character, having been created for radio, but at some point you became enamored with Pulp. What sparked that for you?

RF: Anyone who is a true comic book fan will invariably learn its history and discover comics evolved from the hero pulps of the 1930s and 40s. When those pulps died out, many of the pulp writers and artists gravitated to comics after World War II. Thing is there has always been an active pulp fandom and a little over ten years ago, just out of curiosity, I attended one of the very last Pulp Cons in Dayton, Ohio. From that came the idea of bringing back these great classic characters in brand new stories and thus was born Airship 27 Productions.

EC: Airship 27 is a fascinating publishing imprint, and obviously a labor of love.

What’s the best part about Airship and what have enjoyed the most?

RF: Well, as I just said, getting to bring back such great pulp characters to an entire new audience of readers has been truly gratifying while at the same time we think we’ve given the entire pulp fandom a much needed shot in the arm in keeping alive and healthy for future generations of genre readers. And perhaps the most rewarding part of publishing has been our opportunity to give new, super talented young writers and artists their first big breaks in establishing their careers. You just can’t put a price on that.

Haz3EC: And for Airship 27, what do you have planned for the future?

RF: Hmm, I guess we just want to keep the old Airship 27 flying as long as we can and that means embracing the various media venues out there. Aside from traditional book publishing, we’ve become stable of the big pulp shows and have started branching out to comic cons to show off New Pulp to comic fans. Four years ago we began doing digital copies of our titles and Kindle sales exploded through the roof. Now, within a few weeks, fans will be able to get audio book via our new deal with Radio Archives. Every single one of our titles will soon be available as an audio book. What’s next beyond that? Movies? TV? Who knows?  If you are going to dream, I say dream big.

EC: Airship 27 is a big supporter of Pulp conventions. Can you compare and contrast them to comic conventions? Are they really just another flavor of Geek Culture?

RF: Pulp fandom is really much smaller than general comic fandom but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Whereas most comic cons today have evolved away from comics to become media cultural events focusing primarily on films and TV rather than comics, pulp cons have remained true to their subject. Oh sure, they do sell books, DVDs, posters etc., but their continued reason for existence is pulp magazines and books …old and new. If you’ve never been to a pulp con, I recommend both the Windy City Pulp & Paper show in Chicago in the spring and Pulp Fest in Columbus Ohio in late summer. Both are wonderful shows and tons of fun.

EC: Tommy Hancock is one of the leading voices for and supporters of New Pulp Fiction. Can you tell me a little about him?

RF: Tommy got his start in pulps by submitting a western story to Airship 27 Productions. We hit it off immediately and after his story was published in our Masked Rider – Tales of the Wild West Vol One, Tommy was hooked on pulp writing. But if you know Tommy, he never settles for just one taste of anything. Within months of that story’s publication, Tommy went out and launched his own new pulp company and called it Pro Se. And yes, they are by far our main competitor in the field and we love it. Why? Because having another quality publishing outfit doing New Pulp raises the stakes for all of us, pushing us to do better and better books and thus the readers of pulp fiction benefit. Tommy has become one of the leading proponents of this movement and remains a dear and close friend to this day.

EC: Thanks, much, Ron.

RF: This was fun – thanks, Ed. Only next time we do this, I’ll buy the beer.


Dennis O’Neil: A Midsummer Night’s Disaster

Fantastic FourIf, as T.S. Eliot would have us believe, April is the cruelest month, what’s the other month that beings with A? Is August the ecch-est month? Here in our little baliwick – and yeah, I’m talking pop culture – there’s not a lot happening. The Baltimore comic convention isn’t until late September, and I can’t help wondering what effect, if any, the violence earlier this year will have on the show. None, I hope. I’ve always liked Baltimore.

Note: this does not mean that I wish civic unrest on towns I don’t like. Or any towns, period. It’s a cause for some uneasy notice in our house, this violence, because Marifran grew up in Ferguson when it was just another St. Louis bedroom community. This is the town, a bit west of St. Louis, where I picked up cute little Marifran McFarland for the Friday night movie ritual and returned her to her waiting father at midnight or thereabouts. Good Catholic kids – you weren’t going to catch us staying out till the wee hours. (Well, not then, and not in each other’s company.) So Marifran lived in Ferguson and it was, generally, a peaceful haven for middle class families.

Now? There was, one year ago, the shooting of an unarmed black kid by a white officer that precipitated riots and then, after an interval of apparent quiet, more unrest. The Ferguson news in the morning papers is not good.

But we were discussing ecchy August as it pertains to pop culture, weren’t we?  What else…? Movies? We’ve been dilatory theater goers of late, and I don’t exactly know why. It’s not like August – or July or June before it – has been egregiously busy. Fact is, thing’s have been kind of lazy. If its true that to get something done you should give it to a busy person, stay away from our door.

Not that we’ve been entirely remiss is our moviegoing. We did see Mr. Holmes, the story of the world’s greatest detective when he’s old and failing, and it was terrific. But the splashier entertainments, full of grandiose feats and explosions – you know: superheroes… those we’ve missed, at lest so far. We’ll probably catch Ant Man tomorrow. But chances are that The Fantastic 4 will have to find room on our television screen when it gets that far.

Bombed, didn’t it? Box office worse than The Green Hornet, which is nobody’s idea of filmic greatness. Reed and Sue and Ben and Johnny seem to be cinematically cursed. The two FF movies released in 2005 qnd 2007 did no better than okay and the FF movie before those never got to theaters. I have seen it and barely remember anything about it other than a general badness, One rumor, which I tend to believe, says that it was never intended for audiences, that it was hastily slammed together to satisfy a legal requirement. But what excuse can there be for later failures?

Let’s blame August.

Michael Davis: Hey Kids! Comics!

Davis Art 131126I received the following email last week:


Thanks so much for responding to me! Action Files seems like a great program for schools. I’ll be sure to look into it more. With the new Common Core Standards, I’ve noticed that there isn’t really any standards related to the content of what needs to be taught in an English course and that it mostly revolves around “can students read and write?” 

With that in mind, I created a Donors Choose to teach Grant Morrison’s All-Star Superman to my high school seniors. I was given four months to raise the money and I did it in 13 hours. As long as curriculum revolves around analyzing literature and understanding tone and purpose, the state doesn’t really seem to care what they’re being taught. In a way, that’s great because it opens up content, but in another way it’s strange because the field is wide open.

If there is anything I can do to help from the perspective of an educator please let me know. I confess that I don’t know how much help I can be given how much research you’ve done already on your end, but anything I can do, I’d be happy to.

Thanks again for your articles on Bleeding Cool. They’re exceptionally fascinating and insightful. And (though I know you don’t need my advice or insight on this either) ignore all the haters. They’re jackasses anyway. You’re all kinds of awesome.

Cody Walker


I’ve received cool letters over the years but this is one of if not the coolest letter I’ve ever gotten. It’s funny I just realized the fan mail I get comes from an eclectic group of people.

Over the years people have written me about things I’ve done in comics or some other media but I do so little published work in the comics creative space I still marvel when someone says they like my work.

Denys Cowan in his career I’m sure has thousands of letters of fan letters. How do I know this? I was in his studio once when he got one. “What’s that?” I asked.

“Fan letter. I get them all the time.”

“Define all the time.

“All the time as in all the time.”

I let the matter drop knowing he was clearly setting me up when he opened up a file draw thick with documents and placed the new letter in. I wasn’t taking the bait.

I on the other hand have hundreds, maybe a bit over a thousand fan letters but I’m counting every singe letter I’ve gotten that praised me for something or the other.

Just wanted to let you know you rocked my world last night. That was the best three minutes I’ve ever had in my life!


Yep. That counts.

From all my fan letters I can tell you exactly how many were comic book art related.

One hundred seventy-one, of which one hundred fifty-eight were from France and no I’m not kidding.

It seems the French really loved the series I illustrated for the DC mature reader imprint, Piranha Press. I couple of people liked Shado (Stevie Wonder was one) and I got a really nice letter for a painted Green Hornet cover done for Now Comics as well as another painting I did for Now based on the book ‘The Time Machine.’

Most of the fan letters I get are from grade school kids I’ve spoken to, high schools, universities or organizations I’ve lectured at, young artists, educators, parents and some partridges in pear trees.

My absolute favorite letters to get are from young artist I’ve reached (just got a wonderful one from Allison Leung a major talent you will be seeing more from) and educators.

Oh. Did you perhaps think I was going to say grade school kids was my favorite?

Really? Don’t you know by now I’m not one to play to the crowd?

Darn.I am talking about kids here and people lose their minds when they think you are somehow anti-kid when you tell the truth about way receiving letters from grade school kids is not your favorite thing in the whole wide world. You think those haters will give nary a thought to all the good work I’ve for kids?

No. Those simians will lose their minds and call Chris Hanson! The backlash will be terrible…

OK. I know what to do. I’m so glad I like to write my thoughts down then erase them. Can you imagine what the fallout would be if those hairless monkeys saw this?

My absolute favorite letters to get are from young artists I’ve reached (just got a wonderful one from Allison Leung, a major talent you will be seeing more from) and grade school kids!

It’s so great when a 4th grader writes me a letter telling me how wonderful my visit was and it’s just amazing that 30 kids had the same idea at the same time and all 30 letters came in one envelope!

Wow. If kids were not just the most precious things in all creation I’d think that someone put them up to writing those letters. Not that it would lessen the intent, mind you.

I guess if I had to choose (way way way behind) the second most favorite letter I like receiving would be from educators.

Teachers take a no nonsense approach to what’s right for their students. The letter I received from Cody Walker warmed my kid loving heart in many reasons.

Chief among those reasons is this. Cody is teacher who had the guts to create a high school reading program from comic books.

High School!


High School!

Think about that for a hot sec. It’s very likely his idea was not met with universal love from all his educational peers. Some may even have voiced opposition or even worse not voiced support.

I have no doubt in my mind if faced with a parent teacher revolt against comics in the classroom so fierce all the major networks would have 24/7 news coverage (except Fox News – they would continue their 24/7 reporting of Obama and the allegations he shot Lincoln) Cody would fight the good fight and win.

I know this because Cody took the time and effort to create and find funding for the program (in record time), which he did not have to do.

Teachers like Cody are not rare. They are plentiful. Most teachers labor countless hours not paid for to come up with other ways to engage their students.

Like I said: teachers like Cody are not rare, what’s rare is recognition for great work done on behalf our young people.

On the sporadic occasion when recognition is granted to a well deserving teacher that acknowledgment is slow in coming.

Well, I was so impressed with what Cody wrote me after he read my article in Bleeding Cool I wanted to recognize him as fast as possible, hence he writes me a fan letter through Bleeding Cool and I write him a fan letter through ComicMix.

Cody, I’m a fan of yours, my friend. Many (but not nearly enough) thanks for doing what you do.





The Shadow Fan’s Dark Nights Continue!

The Shadow Fan podcast returns for his 46th episode! This week Barry Reese takes a look at a classic novel (“The Crystal Buddha” from January 1, 1938) and the newest issue of The Shadow/Green Hornet: Dark Nights! It’s an action-packed episode, made all the more so by the announcement of just who will be appearing on our landmark 50th episode in a few weeks! That’s right – at the end of the episode, you’ll find out if your guesses have been correct.

If you love pulp’s greatest crimefighter, this is the podcast for you!

Listen to The Shadow Fan Podcast Episode 46 now at http://theshadowfan.libsyn.com/dark-nights-continues

It was a Dark and Shadowy Night.

Cover Art: Alex Ross (L) and John Cassiday (R)
Art: Howard Chaykin

The Shadow Fan returns for Episode 41! This week, Barry Reese talks about Howard Chaykin’s return to the character, responds to some listener feedback, and then dives into the first issue of The Shadow/Green Hornet: Dark Nights # 1. It’s another action-packed episode devoted to the greatest crimefighter of the pulp era!

If you love The Shadow, this is the podcast for you!

Listen to The Shadow Fan Podcast Episode 41 now at

Dennis O’Neil: The Obese Lone Ranger

O'Neil Art 130711I’m hungry. Gimme a plate. No, a bigger one. Bigger. Bigger! Big as a house, a stadium. Now, lemme eat. Eggs and cheese and pork chops and ice cream and popsicles and pickles and brownies and doughnuts and cake and candy and pies and french fries and hot dogs and hamburgers and cinnamon rolls and marshmallows jelly beans and and and…whatever else you got. Gimme!


…don’t feel so good…

And there he goes galloping off into financial ignominy. We, of course, refer to The Lone Ranger and our first paragraph was what we English majors call a “metaphor” – a very bloated metaphor – for what we think is mainly wrong with the much maligned entertainment of the same name.

It got greedy. It wanted too much.

It wanted to be an action blockbuster and a cowboy picture and a kiddie picture and a comedy and a tale of mythic heroism and a satire and, by making the title character a well-meaning doofus with a cruel streak and his Comanche sidekick the real hero, it wanted to acknowledge the shabby treatment Native Americans have often gotten from our popular culture. Go ahead – try to get all that into one movie, even a long one,

Pertinent digression: Back in the sixties, I read work by a journalist named Gene Marine who used the term “engineering mentality,” by which he meant the conviction that if we can build something, we should build it and piffle on the consequences. So we can put up this dam and let’s not bother ourselves with the fact that there may be other, cheaper ways to accomplish whatever this dam is supposed to accomplish without disrupting the environment for miles in every direction. Give a fella a huge budget and by golly he’ll do something with it.

The Lone Ranger had a huge budget.

It might have benefitted from a smaller one. With less money to spend, the film makers might have been forced to decide on exactly which movie they wanted to make and focused plot and action accordingly. Less might have been more.


A final item for all you conspiracy mavens out there: in the embryonic continuity that The Lone Ranger’s creators were devising way back in the 1930s and 40s, probably with no idea that they were doing so, the Lone Ranger had a descendant, Britt Reid, who rode a big car (instead of a big horse) and had an Asian sidekick (instead of Comanche sidekick) and wore a mask and, yes, fought crime. Now: a couple of years ago there was a Green Hornet movie in which the white dude is the klutz and his non-white partner is the real ass-kicker.

One of the Hornet movie’s production team said there wouldn’t be a sequel because of a disappointing ticket sales and the news media are full of the woeful information that The Lone Ranger bombed big time at the box office. Coincidence? You decide.

And one other thing: urp


FRIDAY MORNING: Martha Thomases


Zone 4 Targets the Green Hornet

The Zone 4 podcast crew returns in full to celebrate the holiday and catch up with each other’s recent goings on. After congratulating a buddy, the guys dive into some headlines. A couple of sidetracks later, Brant Fowler, John Wilson, Ron Fortier, and Gordon Dymowski look at the latest issue of Mark Waid’s Green Hornet, which doesn’t illicit as much fervor and excitement as previous issues for most of the crew. Plus, Facebook Shout-Outs, plugs and more!

Listen to Zone 4 – Episode #224: Mark Waid is… Incorrect? at http://www.zone4podcast.com/zone-4-episode-224-mark-waid-is-incorrect/

This Week’s Links and Topics:
The Mighty Enlil – Pedro Cruz
J.J. Abrams to Develop Rod Serling Script

Lazarus #1 Sells Out
Article about Lazarus #1
Titan Comics Launches, Rolls Out New Line at SDCC
The Sandman: Overture
Mark Waid’s Green Hornet #3
Pulpfest 2013
Redbud Studio Facebook Page
Mike Luoma’s Red Hot #1
John’s Steampunk Originals Interview
HeroesCon 2013 Hub
Derby City Comic Con 2013 Hub

Dark Avenger INC

Look for new episodes of Zone 4 on Fridays.