Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Batman ’66 Meets The Green Hornet on a Perfect Saturday Afternoon!

Three questions, readers....

1:  Is there any better way to spend a Saturday afternoon, than with a brand new comic book? 

(Yes, I can think of... um, like, "some other things" but, since my single-digit-years and my first ever delivered mail-subscription copy of a comic book -- seen below --  it's STILL probably in my "Top Three" ways to spend the middle of the first non-school / non-work day of the week!)

This comic "came to me" (in the mail) one magical Saturday afternoon in 1964, beginning the association of comic books and Saturday afternoons that remains to this day!    

Oh, yes... the Questions...

2:  Does anything say THE SIXTIES like this cover image? 

Wasn't the "leaping Batman image" a tribute to a sixties Life Magazine cover?  

3:  Is Alex Ross (our cover artist) perhaps the greatest comics artist who ever lived.  His work routinely exhibits an almost supernatural air of "reality"! 


On the (still magical, after all these years) sunny Saturday afternoon of June 07, 2014 (...a LOOONG way from that Saturday afternoon in 1964, I might add), I brought home BATMAN ’66 MEETS THE GREEN HORNET # 1 (Of SIX? Their original TV team-up was only TWO parts!), took it out on my back patio and enjoyed it immensely! 

No spoilers, but Batman, Robin, The Green Hornet and Kato, end up in a nice issue ending cliffhanger.

And, there's this wonderful exchange between Bruce (Batman) Wayne and Britt (Green Hornet) Reid:

You can "Click to Enlarge" the entire page, or just read the individual panels below: 

Kato gets in a nice little interjection here!  It never occurred to me that he didn't have a "Heroic Identity Name".  Is he called "Kato" in and out of uniform?  If so, that COULD get mighty awkward! 
Bruce and Britt get "a little protective" of their respective alter-egos!

They even descend to the level of pot-shots at each other's fashion sense!  Wow!  Have you ever seen Bruce loose his cool like that?  WONDERFUL!

I think we need some awesome acro-BAT-ics from former trapeze artist Dick Grayson (AKA "Robin the Boy Wonder") to defuse the tension...

Thanks, Old Chum!

And, while we're at it, how about some action from The Green Hornet and Kato!

You know, Kato's almost as good as "Goose Lee"!   

Hey, it's that character from my "first special Saturday afternoon" comic!

...And probably better than "Duck Norris". 

Oh, yeah!  He's waaay better than "Duck Norris"! 
A new comic and a sunny Saturday afternoon with no chores or other obligations.   Now, I ask you... does it get any better that? 


top_cat_james said...

Hey, funny you should mention the Batman "Life" magazine cover - I was in my local Hallmark store today purchasing a Father's Day card, and I saw that one of their upcoming Christmas ornaments is going to be the Caped Crusader in that iconic pose. Now, when you dance the Batusi in your underwear around the tree this year, you'll have an excuse (sort of).

Incidentally, how does Donald feel about Quackie Chan?

Joe Torcivia said...

I *had* that Batman issue of Life Magazine as a kid, TCJ – and the Batman-covered issue of TV Guide as well. Alas, unlike my comics (about which the phrase concerning the act of “prying from my cold, dead fingers” was very likely coined), I did not manage to retain them over the years.

Oddly, and very fortunate for me, some years back, there was an issued series of “Replica TV Guides”, of which I got the Batman and (fittingly for this post) Green Hornet cover issues – chock full of TV listings from the wonderful year of 1966! Too bad they were the Philadelphia editions, and not the ones from New York – so I could relive all the “local stuff” from that time as well. But, what a treat it is to “comb over” those prime time listings!

Thanks for the ornament info! Take that link in TCJ’s post, and see for yourself, everyone! I’ll surely be getting one of those, even though there is probably *no* excuse for an “underwear Batusi session” that the missus would accept.

Oh, and “Quackie Chan” was also referred to by Donald, on Page Two, Panel Seven of that story… but you already knew that, didn’t you? So, for your service and devotion to the cause, you may consider yourself an “Honorary Titan of Tae-Kwon-Duk” ...YOUR nephews won’t respect YOU for it, either!

top_cat_james said...

I swear I've never read that story before. Lucky guess on my part. Are Steven Seagull, Swan Claude Van Damme, and Wet Li included as well?

...there is probably *no* excuse for an “underwear Batusi session” that the missus would accept.

Well, let's not get her agitated, or you're liable to see these superimposed over your person.

Joe Torcivia said...

Well, then… That was quite the guess, considering you randomly picked the only other parody name I used! Yours are very good too!

And, I have until Christmas to come up with SOME “underwear Batusi session justifying reason”. Don’t rush me! :-)

Anonymous said...

Bruce and Britt had a similar back-and-forth exchange in the TV series, as I recall. Bruce said something like, "If the Green Hornet messes with Batman, he'll be sorry." Then Reid said, "I wouldn't be too sure. The Hornet usually comes out on top." Then Bruce, getting visibly annoyed, grumbled, "That's because you don't have Batman in your city."

AFAIK, the "masked accomplice" never had his own nickname or code name. He was referred to as the Hornet's chauffeur or partner, and I don't remember anyone calling him "Kato" while in costume. I do remember Captain America's sidekick being called "Bucky" in and out of costume.

The villain (Roger C. Carmel) in the TV episode suspected that Bruce Wayne was the Green Hornet, and that Britt Reid was Batman. Sometime circa 1980, a Green Arrow story in World's Finest had a villain discovering the abandoned Arrow Cave. He assumed it was the Bat Cave, and concluded that Oliver Queen was Batman. I've always wondered if that story was inspired by (and was a sort of homage to) that TV episode.


Joe Torcivia said...

I knew I’d get some great background stuff out of you on this one, TC!

I do recall a give and take between Bruce and Britt on the show, and fully expected one here as well. But I don’t recall Bruce becoming quite as agitated as presented here. After all, this is the guy who faces down the taunting of The Joker.

Unlike “Mister J.", Britt just might have the key to getting under his skin, kinda like Gladstone Gander does with Donald Duck. Bruce may even SENSE, on a subconscious level, that The Green Hornet is really a hero and a peer, thus, a rival – bringing out the annoyed jealousy all the more.

I must have mistakenly assumed that “Kato” was the costumed identity, and that he had “another name” when off duty, as DC eventually did with Chop-Chop (Chopper) of The Blackhawks. You’d think a guy who could fight like that would have no trouble demanding a “heroic identity name” from the boss. That was a great bit to call attention to the absurdity of the situation.

I’ve gotta look up that Green Arrow story. Nice way to remind us how similar GA was to Batman, in those pre-Neal Adams, Arrow Cave, Arrow Car days. Do you recall what issue it was in?

Anonymous said...

Green Arrow ran as a back-up strip in World's Finest when it was an 80-page Dollar Comic sometime around 1978-81, and the issue number would probably be around #251-270 or so. I remember a fan letter published a few months later that noted it was a neat commentary on critics who said that GA was a Batman knock-off.

I seem to remember a scene at the end of the Batman-Green Hornet crossover episode. Batman speculated that the Hornet might actually be a crime-fighter who only posed as a criminal, and Commissioner Gordon seemed skeptical. Maybe they figured that Batman, traditionally portrayed as a brilliant detective, could not remain completely clueless, and should have at least SOME idea of the truth.

And, yes, IIRC, Bruce did not become as emotional in the TV episode as he appears to be in the comic. His reaction to Reid's comment was more like annoyance than anger. But then, if Bruce and Britt had been TOO defensive about their respective alter egos, they might have aroused each others' suspicions about their secret identities.


Joe Torcivia said...


That sounds right for when that Green Arrow story would have appeared in WORLD’S FINEST. I’m missing a number of issues from that period to this day: 245, 249, 253-256, 259-260, 267-270, and 273-274. Got ‘em all after that, until the end. I’ll have to look through those and see…

And, of course Batman knows about the Hornet (on some level, or to one extent or another). But the continued ambiguity – and the rivalry – is a nice touch.

To bring this comment full-circle, the rivalry is kinda like that between Bats and Green Arrow on the animated THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD!