This October, Dynamite Entertainment expands Kevin Smith’s “Green Hornet” universe with “Green Hornet: Blood Ties.” The miniseries provides a look into the events that lead up to "Kevin Smith’s Green Hornet” #1, setting its sights squarely on the original Green Hornet and Kato as they clean up crime in Century City. “Blood Ties” follows the stories of the last two crime families in Century City, how they survived so much longer than the other families and what led to their eventual downfall.
Taking readers through Green Hornet and Kato’s war on terror is Green Hornet universe veteran Ande Parks. Parks, currently known for writing the “Green Hornet” spinoff “Kato,” is a veteran of books involving the color green - specifically “Green Arrow” with collaborators Phil Hester and Kevin Smith - and is ready to enlighten fans everywhere with his crime fiction take on Kevin Smith’s version of the “Green Hornet” universe.
Parks took a break from helping our heroes put the beatdown on crime to give fans the lowdown on the newest installment in “Green Hornet” lore, how it fits into the greater story of Kevin Smith’s “Green Hornet,” some of his plans for the story, newcomer artist Johnny Desjardins and why fans should get pumped about “Blood Ties.”
CBR News: Ande, this is the second Green Hornet series you've taken the reins of, the first being the "Kato" miniseries. Tell us a bit about the story behind "Blood Ties."
Ande Parks: Nick [Barrucci] at Dynamite asked me about doing a series about the tail end of the original Green Hornet and Kato fighting gangs in Century City. I've really enjoyed telling stories about the new Kato, but I was eager to get into the world of the original version. On top of that, we get to focus on the gangster side of the equation. For a diehard fan of crime fiction like me, that was impossible to pass up.
How does this series build from the foundation Kevin Smith built in his "Green Hornet" series?
This series starts with the very first scene in the Kevin Smith "Green Hornet" book, and then moves backwards in time. Kevin set up Don Fannelli and Oni Juuma as the last mob bosses in Century City. In Blood Ties, we get to find out how those two families survived that long.
What really excites me about this story [is] reflected in the title. We get to follow three families on the wrong side of the law… really looking at how loyalties are tested. Having written a couple of graphic novels that are very involved with crimes and criminals, I'm very interested in depicting these people as just that… normal people who just happen to live within a certain set of priorities and agendas. Mob bosses are concerned about the things we all are - making a living, making their kids' lives better than their own and finding a little bit of happiness in this life.
Of course, the men in this story also do things that harm others. Sometimes, they do unimaginable things. They have their reasons, but we're not letting anyone off the hook, morally.
What is the timeline of the story? What years of the Green Hornet mythos does the story span and what new things will be revealed about our heroes?
“Blood Ties” takes place in the months right before Kevin Smith's series. Kevin hinted at how the original Green Hornet and Kato got things done… how they cleaned up Century City. We get into the nuts and bolts of the process. We look at the alliances they formed and those that they broke to bring down an army of bad guys.
This series also gives us a chance to show how Kevin's vision of Green Hornet and Kato relate to each other. They don't get much page time in Kevin's book, which focuses on the their heirs. It's fun to depict these two heroes in their primes, as part of Kevin's universe.
Considering that this is based off of Kevin Smith's original story, have you had any contact with him to discuss the direction of "Blood Ties?"
To be honest, I haven't spoken to Kevin about this series or "Kato." He's a busy dude, and he has given us the foundation we need. I know he's there if I need a bit of information, but I like taking what he's given us and running with it in our own way. He gave us plenty to work with. It's our job to not screw it up!
Tell us a bit about series artist Johnny Desjardins and take us through your collaborative process.
He's young, dynamic, and solid as hell. He's a protégé of David Finch's and, while you can see that influence in the work, I think he's got his own vision, as well. He's also young. I mean, really young. It's kinda disgusting how good this punk is at this age.
Johnny and I talk via e-mail every now and then. I have a tendency to over-write, so he usually doesn't need more info on the script side of things. He told me early on he's way into gangster/crime stuff, so I'm writing to that.
How will the events in "Blood Ties" inform the greater story that Kevin Smith is currently telling in "Green Hornet?" For that matter, will we see any threads from your "Kato" miniseries connect to "Blood Ties?"
“Blood Ties” stands on its own, but it will also resonate with Kevin's “Green Hornet” book. I think either series benefits from the other, if that doesn't sound too immodest.
As for Kato, it's been really fun writing the young Kato after I've already gotten to know him as an older man.
Speaking of "Kato," how did your experience working in the Green Hornet universe help you construct "Blood Ties?"
I've been able to sneak in a few characters that tie directly into the "Kato" series I'm writing, even though the two books take place some twenty years apart. I love doing that… giving readers these little ties through time, just as a kind of bonus for those who care to find the connections.
Dynamite has quite a few "Green Hornet" books on the shelf right now - what sets "Blood Ties" apart from the pack?
It's a unique book because we're focusing on the criminal side of the equation. This is not just Green Hornet and Kato against a bunch of anonymous bad guys. On both sides of the law, we get to know what drives these men.
How do you keep your approach to the universe fresh and new?
Really, I think all I can do is approach the characters as honestly as possible, and go deep into what makes them tick. We're looking at this dynamic that people know; what makes our take fresh is the characters. We're digging deeper into the Green Hornet/Kato dynamic. We're getting to see the toll their war on crime takes in the lives of real people on the streets.
Kevin has given us a new angle on this universe. We are taking his vision and applying it to things in that universe that just haven't been explored before. It's gonna be a fun ride.
"Green Hornet: Blood Ties" #1 hits stores in October from Dynamite Entertainment