2021 marks the 85th anniversary of The Green Hornet, one of America’s earliest superheroes. The last day in January 2021 marks the 85th anniversary of the first appearance of character. To mark the occasion, a year-long virtual celebration is being planned to tribute the iconic crime fighter, his powerful sidekick Kato, and the world’s first supercar, the Black Beauty.
The creation of The Green Hornet has a cool backstory. George W. Trendle wanted a timely, relevant, hero character on the radio at WXYZ-Detroit to appeal to voting age Americans, as opposed to his earlier creation, The Lone Ranger, created for children.
In an era without television or internet, news travelled slowly, primarily printed in a newspaper. Britt Reid, the alter ego of The Green Hornet, published such a newspaper, The Daily Sentinel, where he receives inside information about corruption and organized crime from his reporters’ sources.
With his sidekick Kato, The Green Hornet uses his non-lethal weapons to subdue the criminals and leave them for law enforcement to arrest and prosecute. Because police see The Green Hornet as a vigilante, therefore a criminal, both sides of the law are after him, which forces him to wear a mask, so no one discovers his true identity.
Whether it is an original radio broadcast, one of the serials, a tv episode, an issue of a comic book or a movie; the plot usually consists of corrupt government officials or organized crime leaders who seem innocent and above reproach.
In the realm of television, George W. Trendle’s creation of The Green Hornet introduced many firsts to the American audience. The masked avenger in a modern city, Bruce Lee as a martial arts sidekick, and a black stealth supercar to keep Americans safe.
The property was also adapted into a big screen action adventure in 2011 starring Seth Rogen and Jay Chou.