When done right, Green Hornet is an amazing character regardless of what time period he's in… when done wrong he looks like Seth Rogen… so dropping the masked man into a steampunk world really only changes the look of the book, the heart of it – the relationship with him and Kato and the dedication to fighting crime – remain. Daryl Gregory understands that and he chatted with Byron Brewer about the latest project.
DARYL GREGORY: The most fun is just working with Green Hornet, period, and that's also the challenge: to make a good story, period. The steampunk is window dressing around a good plot and snappy dialogue. Every issue, if I've given Brent Peeples fun stuff to draw and I've made myself laugh, then it's a good issue.
BB: How do you assess Tik-Tok's worth as a super-villain? Give us some of his motivation for his skullduggery please.
DG: Is there a prize for making a supervillain from a character in a beloved children's book? The most fun about Tik-Tok was taking this cozy Oz character and making him into a power-hungry sociopath. He's a major player in the Big City — not only a leader of a cult, but a crime lord in his own right, with a posse of machine-modified deacons to do the dirty work.
If the audience likes Tik-Tok, I'll look into despoiling other childhood characters. Ask me about my pitch for Thomas the Meth Cooking Tank Engine.
DG: There's a reason why the Green Hornet TV series was known in Hong Kong as The Kato Show. He's important because he's the sole of the series. By which I mean that the sole of his foot is always kicking someone in the head.
But seriously, folks. Kato is fascinating, and in the book I spend a little time (between head kicks) to show his relationship to Green Hornet, and why these two guys hang out together.
BB: The Brass Hornet sounds like a great mirror-image villain for GH, kind of like Doctor Doom and Reed Richards, or Lex Luthor and Superman. Tell us about his conception.
DG: To quote Bill Willingham (or misquote him, since I was drinking at a con bar when he said this), superhero comics are all about the villains. Because this was the first standalone Green Hornet comic in this new universe, I'd be damned if I was going to pass up the opportunity to create not only a raft of new villains, but an old-fashioned arch-nemesis. And because it's steampunk, of course he had to be brass. Also, he has huge brass … weapons.
DG: It's very hard to think of something that Brent would find a challenge. He's a veteran of comics, and I'm the new guy, with just a few comics under his belt. (This is not a metaphor. I carry them all with me at all times. It's difficult to sit down.) I've just been telling people, "Wait to you see these pages, they're terrific." And I've been loving Michael Bartolo's color work! I'm in good hands with these guys.
For more information on the Legenderry: Green Hornet series, click here.