“Babble Brothers” Writer/Director Kevin Smith and Radio Persoanality/Actor Ralph Garman are set to write a new mini-series staring ’66 Batman and Robin and The Green Hornet and Kato. Dynamite and DC Comics crossover Batman ’66 Meets the Green Hornet launches as a 12-part, digital-first biweekly series beginning May 21, and will debut in comic shops as a print comic on June 4.
Smith and Garman have been doing the weekly pop-culture podcast Hollywood Babble-On for three years, but they were friends long before. They found themselves kindred spirits when it came to the old Batman show, which took a lot of heat in the late ’80s and early ’90s, according to Smith.
“After the Tim Burton 1989 Batman movie, nobody wanted to talk about the Adam West version of Batman,” he says.
“Except me,” replies Garman, who has a “massive” collection of ’60s-era Batman merchandise. “I have never strayed far from this character being right in the center of my heart.”
Teaming with artist Ty Templeton, Smith and Garman are treating the story like a missing “lost” sequel to the 1967 Batman two-parter that brought the Hornet and Kato to Gotham City to foil a counterfeit-stamp ring run by the mustachioed, pink-suited villain Colonel Gumm (Roger C. Carmel).
The series borrows the backstory hinted at in the show, that Bruce Wayne and Britt Reid knew each other when they were younger and went to school together, and they have a rivalry. Also, because the Green Hornet’s city was never mentioned in the Batman show, the metropolis remains nameless in the new comic.
Smith admits there is a secret agenda at play: to have such a cool comic that it may one day be considered for a straight-to-DVD animated feature, since all of the principals except Lee are still alive. “Adam still sounds like Adam. Hopefully that’s somewhere in the cards down the road, if the comic book connects the way we think it will.”
The beauty of the ’60s show for Smith was that, like Rocky and Bullwinkle, it appealed to both children and adults. And he feels the new comic is so colorful and poppy that it’ll appeal to 6-year-olds now just as it did for 6-year-old Kevin Smith.
Garman says it’s more accessible to kids than any other Batman comic on the market. “This is a straightforward hero who does the right thing because it’s the right thing to do, and Robin always learns an important lesson.”
Smith is often gets behind on his comic script assignments, usually in favor of his film work. I hope that the inclusion of Garman and a conumate pro like Templeton will keep him on track.