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DAVID LISS talks GREEN HORNET: REIGN OF THE DEMON #4, the grand finale, out March!

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  • DAVID LISS talks GREEN HORNET: REIGN OF THE DEMON #4, the grand finale, out March!

    DAVID LISS talks GREEN HORNET: REIGN OF THE DEMON #4, the grand finale, on sale in March from Dynamite!

    BYRON BREWER: David, you certainly have treated these characters with respect in this miniseries. What was it like to handle such iconic characters as Green Hornet and Kato, all the while paying homage to Mark Waid’s terrific run on the characters?

    DAVID LISS: As I was working up ideas for this story, it occurred to me that this was the first time I'd written about a classic pulp hero in his original setting. I've worked with some iconic pulp characters before – the Spider, the Shadow – but those projects involved modernizing or bringing the characters into the modern world. I've also created my own original pulp heroes, but now I had the chance to write about one of the great characters in the original setting. Dynamite has had lots of takes on Green Hornet, but I came on shortly after the conclusion of Waid's fantastic run, and it made sense to build on the work he'd done. My goal was always to provide continuity for long-time readers, to be true to who these characters are, and, at the same time, bring something new to the table. In this case, I think the insanity of our villain, Demone, and the over-the-top nature of new characters like the Swashbuckler add new elements to the Green Hornet universe.

    BB: So in March, as your grand finale comes, what would you say about your creation of crime lord Demone? Has he been a worthy adversary for the Hornet, and if so why?

    DL: To be a worthy adversary, a villain has to present a real threat to the hero, and Demone definitely does that. That threat needs to be more than the possibility of defeat, though. If the only question posed to the reader is "Will the hero win?" then I haven't done my job. That's not a terribly interesting question. Instead, I like to make readers ask, "What will winning cost the hero?" In this story, Demone is always one step ahead of the Hornet, and he poses a real physical threat, but the story also forces Britt Reid and Kato to really examine what it is they're doing and what the Green Hornet disguise may cost innocent people. In other words, Demone creates a situation in which the heroes may win, but they are not going to emerge unscathed.

    BB: Green Hornet certainly has to jump through some hoops before he reaches (if he does) March’s final issue. What truths has he – AND Britt Reid – had to face about this crime fighting gig and their methodology?

    DL: This is something I set up pretty early in the series. By pretending to be a villain, the Hornet sometimes has to behave villainously. That behavior endangers others, so one of the things this story asks is "Can you act immorally while being moral?" Green Hornet's role as a pretend-villain comes under a lot of scrutiny from a whole bunch of different angles.

    BB: Tell us about your perceptions of Kato as Green Hornet’s companion. What is the true strength of their relationship as you utilized it in this book? Why are they friends and how do they operate so efficiently together?

    DL: This is something I thought about a lot. Kato occupies the role of a servant, but in reality he is a partner – an equal and sometimes quite a bit more. I see him as providing counterweight to the sense of invulnerability and privilege that can sometimes blind Britt Reid.

    BB: I know we are some time away from #4, but what if anything can you tell us about the character of the Swashbuckler?

    DL: This is a hard question to answer without revealing some of the Swashbuckler-related plot twists, but I'll do my best. From the beginning, this story was always going to be about the Hornet facing a costumed villain, but I thought it might be interesting to bring in another costumed character, a rival hero – assuming that's what he actually is. The Swashbuckler certainly appears to be a heroic, capable, flamboyant hero, and that turns out to be a little bit painful to Reid as he watches this stranger get adulation that the Hornet deserves, but can never receive. Also, like Demone, he is often a step or two ahead of the Hornet, and he's got some deep secrets. All in all, he was a very satisfying character to write.

    BB: Is it just me, or has Kewber Baal been knocking these art chores out of the park on this series?

    DL: I love Kewber's art, and I especially enjoyed seeing his take on the original characters in this story—Demone, Swashbuckler, and especially Gareri. Got to love that beard!

    BB: David, would you like to handle the Hornet and Kato in another go-round at Dynamite?

    DL: Are you kidding? I'd do it in a heartbeat. These are such great, complex and iconic characters, and there's no end to the kind of exciting and compelling stories you can tell about them. It's so much fun working with classic pulp figures like Green Hornet, and it's also an honor to be part of such a rich story-telling tradition.