And here we have our second writer's commentary for the day, this one with Fred Van Lente talking about a few of the pages from The Green Hornet '66 Meets the Spirit #1. The cover we have is by Mike and Laura Allred with interior art by Bob Q.
Another challenge for The Green Hornet, his aide Kato and their rolling arsenel, the Black Beauty! Reid and Kato have traveled to Central City to participate in the futuristic World's Fair, to get the skinny on the "Newspaper of Tomorrow," a device capable of predicting headlines before events happen! But isn't that a dangerous power for the press to wield…and say, who's that blue-suited skulker in the shadows?
Maybe writer Fred Van Lente knows…
I've always loved retro-futures — how the past imagined what things would be like today — and of course one of these options is actually how the "Newspaper of the Future" comes about. You can pry my New York Times online subscription from my cold dead fingers!
Much of this issue (and the next) takes place at the Central City 1966 World's Fair which is, of course, a riff on the 1964 New York World's Fair, where a bunch of things we now take for granted first appeared as "cutting edge" — including Walt Disney's "It's a Small World" ride. The New York Historical Society did a great history of computing exhibit recently, and a computer on display at the '64 World's Fair was inspiration for the Newspaper of the Future in this issue.
Fun fact: Footage of the 1964 World's Fair was used in the very first episode of the 1966 Batman TV show, big brother of Green Hornet '66. In the very first-ever scene of that show the Riddler robs the World's Fair equivalent in Gotham City.
The Unisphere is one of the few things still remaining in New York City from the 1964 World's Fair, along with a few of the pavilion buildings and those UFO-looking things used so effectively in Men in Black.
Confession Time: I'm not much of a Green Hornet fan, but my dad was a big Spirit fan when he was a kid, and I inherited his affection for Will Eisner's creation. One of the first comics I remember getting is a tattered issue of the old Warren Spirit magazine in which the Octopus's gloves are prominently featured on the cover, so it's been a real kick working with these characters in this series.
A lot of the space stuff from the '64 New York World's Fair is now part of the museum of science in Queens.
Say, isn't there another major comic book franchise involving rockets and Central City? Huh, I wonder if that will come up in future issues…
I know this bucks tradition, but this is the only place in the series (thus far — I've only written #1-4) the famed Spirit logo treatment gets incorporated into the action in true Eisnerian fashion. I don't know if it's blasphemy, but while I do get a kick out of seeing where the logo is incorporated in each Spirit appearance, I'm not gonna rearrange my story just for the damn logo. Also, it would kind of diminish the Green Hornet and Kato, and it's their book too. And doing our whole title would take up an entire page, I fear!