It's time to sing a little Auld Lang Syne for Dynamite Entertainment's "Green Hornet: Year One" as Matt Wagner brings a close to the first twelve months in the career of the iconic hero in March. Readers have seen Britt Reid come into his own as a hero as he attempted to end the scourge on the streets with his trusty sidekick Kato. Wagner has taken the Hornet through a journey of self-discovery, both as a crime-fighter and as a newspaperman, in a year that has explored the defining moments in his path to become a hero. Now at the end of the opening chapter of their career together, Green Hornet and Kato have the chance to bring down "Skid" Caruso, the brutal head honcho of Chicago organized crime. Everything in Green Hornet's first year has led up to this, and it's sure to be one hell of a fight.
CBR News spoke with series writer Matt Wagner about his time penning a new origin for the iconic crimefighters, the challenges they face going into the fight, his favorite moment during his run and the surprises our heroes have for "Skid" Caruso going into the fight.
CBR News: Matt, it's the wrap up of the second main arc for "Green Hornet: Year One." What can fans expect to see going into this issue?â€¨Matt Wagner: Well, there's quite a bit that happens in the issues immediately preceding this finale -- and when I say "finale," I mean the end of the beginning. Obviously, these two story arcs are merely the start of the original Green Hornet's long crime-fighting career. But, like I said, the Hornet and Kato run into some trouble in issues #10 and 11 -- a ruthless mob enforcer that Skid Caruso has called in from out of town, known for his unyielding brutality as "The Scourge." That encounter leaves them both a bit battered and off-balance, definitely not the best time to be making their big assault on the criminal kingpin's citadel.â€¨â€¨
The Hornet's about to face down the king of organized crime in Chicago. This is everything he's worked towards in his first year - what's going through Britt Reid's mind right now?â€¨This entire enterprise has left Britt feeling that he is, indeed, fighting the good fight and doing the right thing, but it's left him with the firm realization that, if he messes up, things are going to be even worse than before. If he gets killed or his identity uncovered...think of it, the Daily Sentinel will probably crumble and that last bastion of resistance will be swept away by the forces of corruption. It's a heavy responsibility and Britt knows he's gotta make sure that never happens. But then again, neither he nor Kato have ever come up against someone like The Scourge.â€¨What kinds of surprises does Caruso have in store for the Green Hornet? What's the villain's emotion level headed into the final battle?â€¨Obviously, Caruso's nerves are on edge, but he's also an arrogant fat-cat. He's pretty confident that his headquarters in the Imperial Hotel is fairly impregnable. But then again, he's underestimated the Hornet at almost every turn!â€¨â€¨By the same token, what kinds of surprises does the Hornet have for Caruso?
Well, I don't want to reveal too much here, but I spent some time trying to figure out a way that Britt would face this final confrontation via both his crime-fighting avenues. When he decided that he needed to forge his masked identity and his clandestine crusade, he didn't utterly abandon the Daily Sentinel and its effectiveness at spotlighting and uncovering criminal corruption. In fact, that's the way he would have preferred to address that cause, simply taking over his father's purpose and role as publisher. Still, circumstances and Kato's childhood training provided him with another option, but I felt that, from a narrative sense, it was important that the he continue his fight from both directions. I wanted to show that he's effective asÂ bothÂ the masked vigilante and as a newspaperman.
Will the downfall of Caruso actually spell the end of organized crime in Chicago, or is this just another stepping stone in Britt Reid's war on crime?â€¨Ha! Does that reallyÂ needÂ an answer? Is crimeÂ everÂ really "defeated?" Certainly, Britt has a distinct goal in mind at this early stage in his career -- bringing down the big boss, Skid Caruso. But we've already seen that there are plenty of other gangsters around. If Skid goes down, well, nature abhors a vacuum, yes?â€¨There have been so many major moments so far in the series - which would you say so far has been your favorite?