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Exclusive Interview: Mark Waid Lights The Fuse Under Dynamite's New Green Hornet book

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Posted by: Byron Brewer, Managing Editor
created 05/28/2013 - 5:28pm, updated 05/28/2013 - 5:39pm

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Writer Mark Waid, who has made us see other sides of both Daredevil and the Indestructible Hulk at Marvel, has already begun chronicling for Dynamite the adventures of one of 1940s radio and film serials’ greatest crime fighters, the Green Hornet!

To get to the uniqueness of his iteration of the character, Cosmic Book News Managing Editor Byron Brewer exclusively parked his own black beauty (in reality a 1973 Mustang that no longer has any paint) in back of a noir alleyway to quiz the incredibly busy Waid.   

Cosmic Book News: Relaunches of the Green Hornet mythos seem to be as numerous as those of Red Sonja, yet Dynamite has rebooted both in recent days. How is the Green Hornet #1 that came out in March different from other iterations?

Mark Waid: As much as I've loved the other Dynamite iterations, I think this one's a little closer to the core concept: it's not a superhero book, it's a crime book. It's about a seeker of justice who's posing as the world's first supervillain in order to spy on crime from the inside.

CBN: Mark, how did you become involved with the effort to reopen a new chapter for the crime fighter?

Mark Waid: Nick and I have been trying to find something to work together on forever, and late last year I remembered I'd had a Green Hornet story in the back of my head for ten years or better, and a fresh take on the character. Nick let me run with it!

CBN: In just a short time, you have expanded on Kato’s role considerably. Tell us about that.

Mark Waid: I still like him as the conflicted one -- is he sidekick? Partner? Employee? Equal? -- but the one thing we added to the mythos is that Kato is also a master of disguise, which helps the Hornet immensely in his crusade to remind criminals that he's one of them since Kato can impersonate the Hornet's "victims" and play along when Hornet's called upon to prove his villainy. Kato can be the nosy cop that Hornet "pushed off a pier" before the eyes of gangland. Kato can be the rival ganglord that Hornet "shot and killed" before a slew of eyewitnesses. Kato does this for the Hornet. But that doesn't mean he enjoys it.

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CBN: What is it about pulp characters that seems to bring out such enthusiasm in comics writers … and readers?

Mark Waid: There's a primal nature to them. They can be complex without being complicated or mired in decades of continuity. They can act forcefully and worry about the consequences later.

CBN: So where does Brit Reid exist in the Hornet’s world? What is your take on the man behind the mask?

Mark Waid: To me, the book is about Britt, not about his alter-ego. My take on Britt is that he's young Charles Foster Kane, a newspaper publisher eager to use the bully pulpit of the press to punish the bad guys. His newspaper is one of his tools. Hornet is the other. But his vulnerability is that he's become a little too fond of his own efforts and his own press; his ego's threatening everything, his growing belief that he's infallible.

CBN: I remember the Black Beauty car from the 1960s Green Hornet TV show; it was so cool, like those James Bond cars? Will we see more of the auto here?

Mark Waid: Oh, dear God, yes. I'll do a whole issue based on the Beauty.

CBN: Any new big-bads in the alleyways?

Mark Waid: Keep reading. Britt Reid is his own worst enemy.

CBN: Any projects current or in the works you would care to discuss? 

Mark Waid: Just keep reading Green Hornet! (laughs)

Cosmic Book News wishes to thank Mark Waid for taking time out of his most busy schedule to answer our questions. We would also like to thank Dynamite’s own Nick Barrucci and Keith Davidsen who helped make this interview possible.

“The Green Hornet” #4 hits shelves June 26th and can be ordered through Dynamite.com!

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