IT’S HARD to believe that it’s taken so long for the Green Hornet and Spirit to meet in print. They’ve existed as characters for 81 years and 77 years, respectively—two masked crime fighters living double lives and wearing fedoras. For nearly a century they’ve existed in parallel, but that all changes this week as their paths finally cross in The Green Hornet ’66 Meets The Spirit, the first issue in a new 5-book arc from Dynamite Comics.
I’m a sucker for mashups, and this one had my attention from the moment it was announced. It’s got so much going for it: Great characters; a publisher with a solid track record of handling both characters; and the fact that Dynamite is carving out quite a niche for itself these days in regard to both mashups and icons (check out my review of Dynamite’s Mighty Mouse, for example).
And this series, at least one issue in, is exceeding even my expectations. Without giving away the plot, our story opens at a 1966 world expo in Central City (Spririt’s turf), where the Green Hornet’s real-life persona, newspaper mogul Britt Reid, is wowing a crowd with technology he calls “the newspaper of the future.” He’s clearly up to something, though, and he’s drawn the attention of not only criminals, but of a certain blue-suited crime fighter who everyone thinks is dead.
I’d be ruining the fun if I said anything more, and this book really is a lot of fun. Writer Fred Van Lente (Incredible Hercules) and artist Ben Q make all the right moves here, inventively referencing legacy characters; capturing mid-century visuals beautifully; and really having fun with the brotherly rivalry between Green Hornet and his partner, Kato. I actually laughed out loud at one exchange.
All in all, a solid start to a long-awaited meeting.
The book is available both digitally and in print.