Amy Chu has taken the baton from Kevin Smith to plot a new era for the classic superhero duo Green Hornet and Kato. After introducing a new team comprised of Green Hornet's son (Britt Reid Jr.) and Kato's daughter (Mulan), that new team is now meeting what Chu hopes will be "their Joker."
Scheduled to debut this March, Chu's Green Hornet #1 from Dynamite Entertainment finds Britt Reid Jr - the all-new Green Hornet - missing after a business trip, with Mulan and Kato swooping in to find him.
Green Hornet will be illustrated by German Erramouspe, with he and Chu coming in with purpose and a distinct style - based on a classic work of art. Newsarama spoke with Chu for more about this new series.
Newsarama: Amy, how do you envision Green Hornet and Kato?
Amy Chu: This is a team-up that's been around longer than Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman so I'm trying to explore what it means to wear the green and black. And yes, just like writer and artist in comics, they're a team. There is no Green Hornet without Kato, or Kato without Green Hornet. I'm not a fan of the sidekick tradition to be honest.
Nrama: But they have a unique partnership, now over two generations and two team-ups. Can you describe the situation with Britt Reid, Britt Reid Jr., Kato and Mulan?
Chu: Britt Reid Jr. has taken over his deceased father's role as the publisher of The Daily Sentinel as well as the Green Hornet persona, but it's a heavy responsibility. And when he goes missing overseas, it's up to Kato and Mulan to take over and find him.
Nrama: What are they up against here?
Chu: I'm glad you asked! The issue I've had with many series, not just this one, is the lack of memorable villains. The Green Hornet needs a Joker. Actually, more than a Joker but something bigger- an international conspiracy. We're not in the '30s anymore. The threat needs to go beyond Century City crime and gangs on the waterfront.
Nrama: So who (or what) is it?
Chu: There's an international conspiracy involving a secret society known as the Espada and a new hero only known as the "Oko" is implicated. To say more would be all spoilers for the middle of the arc, unfortunately.
Nrama: What made this a comic book project you wanted to do?
Chu: Well, I wanted to write a male superhero so I asked for Green Hornet. Then they were like, can you make the character female... [Laughs]. I don't mind giving Mulan more to work with. Really, this is one of the characters my parents actually know and like because of Bruce Lee in the '60s TV series. I'm not sure they even know who Red Sonja is, or Poison Ivy... Plus I dig martial arts...
Nrama: Artist German Erramouspe said his work here is inspired by the painter Edward Hopper. Any of that kind of thing in play wiht your writing?
Chu: German is super cool. We discussed the overall feel of the series - I feel like after the movie it was moving away from the seriousness of the original. After looking through German's previous work and I thought, oh this guy's dark, so I suggested Nighthawks. I'm glad he was totally "Let's do it."
Nrama: How close is this tied into the previous Green Hornet stories at Dynamite by Kevin Smith and others?
Chu: I was asked to work off of the Kevin Smith version but obviously I'm taking things in a different direction by giving Kato and his daughter Mulan a bigger role.
Nrama: What makes Green Hornet interesting in 2018?
Chu: Well, first of all, being the publisher of a newspaper in today's environment, think about it There's a lot of story right there. And this is a paper that has falsely built the undercover persona you use to protect the public. There's a huge conflict of trust. I'm taking this online EdX course "Power and Responsibility: Doing Philosophy with Superheroes" and it's really making me think hard about the Green Hornet dilemma of being essentially an undercover hero.
Nrama: What are your big goals for this?
Chu: I want to give Green Hornet the audience the character deserves. With the cool toys and cars, the glamorous public persona, there's no reason this character shouldn't be as popular as Batman, or James Bond. Fortunately, like Poison Ivy, even though these characters have been around a long time there's still a lot of story that is left unexplored.