Sometimes classic superhero comics are all about dynamic duos and, in this case, we have three pairs of them. Film-maker and writer Kevin Smith and comedian Ralph Garman along with the artists Ty Templeton and Alex Ross will be creating a Batman and Green Hornet ’60s crossover comic. Moreover, this Batman and Hornet ’60s crossover, entitled Batman ’66 Meets the Green Hornet, is going to be treated “like a missing ‘lost’ sequel to the 1967 Batman two-parter” that brought the two heroic duos together in the first place.
Even though both the 1960s Batman starring Adam West and The Green Hornet were shows that started well before I was born, I spent a lot of time at my grandparents’ place watching both of them: and particularly Batman. In fact, when I look back I can say I’m fairly certain that Adam West’s Batman was the first serialized exposure I had to the character before Tim Burton’s 1989 film and I was always fascinated by the strange campy assortment of villains and how I wanted to know who they all were in the comics: even though some of them were made for the show itself. I took it seriously when I was younger, but as I got older I became “serious” about it and thought the show had become irrelevant to more contemporary times. Really, Adam West’s Batman in particular is a lighthearted comedic parody of itself that isn’t afraid to make fun of itself while paying homage to its sources. And it has a powerful zany effect: so much so that sometimes I find myself saying something along the lines of a Boy Wonder-worthy “Gee Willikers Batman!”
I also only saw a few Green Hornet episodes but from what I have seen, particularly with regards to the Green Hornet and Kato climbing scenes, it made sense that they and Batman existed in the same universe. And though it has been a while, I might have even seen the crossover happen as well.
And let’s look at dynamic duos again. The thing about heroic duos is, in fact, the dynamics that play between them. Kevin Smith and Ralph Garman are the collaborating writers of this twelve issue comics series. Smith himself has written many Batman stories and inundated his films with thoughtful and zany geekery, and Ralph Garman is the host of The Joe Schmo Show, a voice actor on Family Guy and Smith’s co-host on the Hollywood Babble-On podcast. And then there are the artists to consider as well. Alex Ross is well known for his high mythic art in Kingdom Come and he will be designing the covers for the Crossover series while the Canadian artist Ty Templeton, the creator of Stig’s Inferno and Bigg Time as well as The Batman Adventures, will be the comic’s central illustrator. I actually met Ty Templeton before in a seminar about writing and drawing comics back at the old Paradise Comicon. He and his wife Keiren Smith run the Comic Book Boot Camp in Toronto, while also helping to organize events such as the 12 and 24 Hour Comics Marathons.
So not only do I get the positive feel of visiting imaginary space from my own childhood and know of most of the players involved in its creation, but in writing this article I get to promote someone who is well known and loved in the local geek community of Toronto. There is just so much … fun in this collaboration and if Kevin Smith’s hopes come true, who knows: perhaps it will be adapted into a straight-to-DVD animated feature with Adam West taking a role as a voice actor. In doing so, it would almost be like a spiritual sequel or “second televised episode” of Batman meeting the Green Hornet. Knowing that this comes from a place where the creators finally get to play in the creative sandbox that shaped their youth is just plain full-circle and heartwarming.
You can read further on Batman ’66 Meets the Green Hornet on Brian Truitt’s USA Today article Batman, Green Hornet team for a ’60s crossover. Until then, see ya later. So long! Same Bat-time, same Bat-channel.