The Green Hornet and his partner Kato are pulp vigilantes created by George W. Trendle and Fran Striker who first appeared in radio broadcasts in 1936 and soon appeared in comic books and television serials. A movie of the Green Hornet and Kato was finally released in 2010, featuring Seth Rogen and Stephen Chow. The Green Hornet appears to the public to be a criminal but is really Britt Reid, the publisher of Daily Sentinel newspaper in some unnamed city. Kato is Reid’s chauffeur and butler and the driver of the Black Beauty, the slick car the duo uses to foil the plans of the police and criminals.
Various Green Hornet comic book series had been published since the 1940s but the most memorable run was by the series published by Now Comics in the 1980s and 1990s. These comic books redefined the Green Hornet and Kato as multigenerational heroes starting in the 1930s, with a new generation fighting crime in the 1960s and a new team in the 1980s and 1990s. The multigenerational aspect of the Green Hornet has been used by Dynamite Entertainment the current license owner of Green Hornet comics.
A Green Hornet series was introduced in 1966 as a companion series to the popular Batman television series by ABC Television, the same network broadcasting Batman. ABC wanted to replicate the success of the Batman television series but unfortunately, even with a crossover between series, The Green Hornet television series produced by Greenways Productions only lasted one season. But this was enough to perpetually make a star out of martial artist Bruce Lee who played Kato next to Van Williams’ Green Hornet. The series’ musical theme based on a quick-paced version of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov Flight of the Bumblebee used in the 1930s radio show was used again for the television series.
The 2010 Green Hornet Film was a lukewarm success for Columbia/Sony Pictures but featured a comedic Green Hornet and Kato instead of a serious duo. Kato, just like in the Now comics was made a more substantial to the plot line. He was more of a genius and less of a butler, although he worked for Britt Reid.
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