Phil Hester ('Green Hornet')
Published Nov 20 2010, 06:00 GMT
By Mark Langshaw
's flagship Green Hornet
title has been a big success for the publisher, and that's hardly surprising with an acclaimed filmmaker like Kevin Smith at the helm. Phil Hester
succeeds Smith as writer for the title's second arc, promising big changes for the masked crime fighter and his sidekick Kato. DS
caught up with the scribe to find out more.You are taking over writing duties on Green Hornet from issue #11. What was your involvement in the project prior to this?
"I was sort of a helper monkey for both Kevin Smith (writer) and Jonathan Lau (artist). I would help adapt Kevin's screenplay to comics, hand it back to Kevin, adapt his pass into simple layouts, hand those off to Jonathan, place balloons on Jonathan's art, then meld both after Kevin had another pass."Stylistically speaking, what are the main differences readers can expect now that you are at the helm?
"I'm not as funny as Kevin. So expect a lot more sturm und drang, supervillains, angst, and grim 'n' gritty. I will not abandon the glib, funny tone Kevin has given GH and Kato, but I can't keep pace with him in that department, so I'll be hammering the plot angle a bit more."
What does the next arc have in store for Britt Reid Jr and Kato?
"GH and Kato have to come into their own as crime fighters, and that comes with a steep, steep learning curve. These lessons come at a price, and one of the two will come out the other side with deep, permanent scars, both physical and mental. Now that the origin is out of the way expect more head busting, villains, new weapons and Clutch gadgets."What can you tell us about the new villain the duo will face, Santa Muerte?
"Well, Santa Muerte is a real thing. She's sort of the patron saint of the street in the barrios of Mexico and the US. Many poor folk, criminals, prostitutes and the downtrodden who don't feel at home in establishment churches worship at improvised Santa Muerte chapels. I'm amping that up a bit and making this Santa Muerte (Saint Death) an actual living, breathing, seemingly supernatural being who commands a fanatically loyal army of criminals who don't cave in to GH's intimidation. This struggle is to the death, and the thugs have death on their side."
Will you be introducing any other villains during your run on the comic?
"Most definitely. While GH and Kato are tangling with Santa Muerte here in Century City, Elder Kato and Clutch are in Japan battling the remains of the Juuma clan who have a secret weapon at their disposal known only as Red Hand."Did you feel that it was important to acknowledge Green Hornet's roots with this series?
"Certainly. GH has a deep and devoted fanbase and getting them on board was important to our initial success. I think just how much Kevin cared about old-school GH lore was the most surprising thing to me about this whole process. Kevin is/was an unabashed GH mark and he brought it all to the table. I plan on continuing to find that balance between reverence for GH history and the desire to stake out new territory. It'll be fun."
Does the development of the Green Hornet movie have any bearing on the comic?
"None at all. I don't even look at the other GH
comics at Dynamite. I want to have a completely fresh take on the character. I rely on editorial guidance to make sure I'm not stepping on any toes."What other projects have you got in the pipeline?
"Oh, Lord. Well, I'm writing Wonder Woman
, The Darkness
[which is now a cartoon on Cartoon Network], Days Missing
, Black Terror
for Strip Magazine
. Probably some other stuff I'm forgetting."Phil Hester's run on Green Hornet begins with issue #11 in December.