Four Color Comments: Van Williams, TV’s Green Hornet Passes Away

Today marks the loss of another iconic TV legend. I still remember where I saw Van Williams. It was the Batman TV show. The 2 episodes entitled “A Piece of […]

Today marks the loss of another iconic TV legend.

142312-33016-the-green-hornetI still remember where I saw Van Williams. It was the Batman TV show. The 2 episodes entitled “A Piece of the Action” and “Batman’s Satisfaction”. I loved Batman as much as the next guy, but there was just something about Williams as the Green Hornet that really captured me. He played the hero a lot different from Adam West did, and I had to know more.

It was Van Williams that got me hooked on the Green Hornet. I did end up hearing the old radio show later on, but it was so much different seeing him in action. One of the comic conventions I went to, there was a guy selling bootleg VCR tapes (like there always is), and I ended buying the Green Hornet series. Again the only thing I knew was from the Batman TV show.

So I popped in the tape and got the shock of my life!

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It was amazing. This wasn’t some campy, parody of a hero. This was dark and gritty. A real crime drama.

Unforntually the show only lasted 26 episodes. One season. Sucked. But to many people, Van Williams became the iconic face of the Green Hornet. Just like Bruce Lee became the iconic look of Kato.

When the Green Hornet made back to comics in the late 80’s, it was Williams’ face that the artists used as a model. And it still is today, in Dynamite Comics current books.

Even the comic tie to that god awful Seth Rogan adaptation, the cover artists used Williams’ likeness, not Rogan’s, because, like a lot of us, we know who the true Green Hornet is (not to knock the radio or movie serial versions).

It was extremely heartbreaking to hear that Van Williams passed away. He was 82 and died from renal failure last Monday.

Thank you, Van, for getting at least this kid into the Green Hornet. You will be missed.

Brian Isaacs - Executive Editor / Publisher

About Brian Isaacs - Executive Editor / Publisher

An avid comic collector/reader for over 40 years and self-proclaimed professor of comicology, Brian original started up the site Pendragon's Post to share his voice. Well that voice has been shared, and evolved into The Fanboy Factor. Brian is an advocate for remembering comic roots, and that we don't forget what was created in the past, and encourage everyone to read it as well. When not swimming in geek culture, he can be seen corrupting..introducing his young son to comics, much to his wife's chagrin.