BYRON BREWER: Michael, this is one of the most promising historic epics I have ever heard of! Not only do you have the Lone Ranger and the Green Hornet being related, but issue #2 coming in August also features Eliot Ness and â¦ Jesse Owens??
MICHAEL USLAN: By now, I think everyone knows that the history buff I am and the comic book fan I am demands that I write many of my graphic novels as alternative historical fiction. Thus, once I worked out the timeline for the life of the Lone Ranger, coordinated that with the timeline for the birth of the Green Hornet, I was able to pinpoint specific events of history, and people who were alive at that time, and intertwine them with John Reid and Britt Reid. And if part of the story takes place in 1936, the year of the Berlin Olympics with superstar Jesse Owens showing up Hitler and the Nazis… how could I resist??
BB: Haha! â¦ Will we see any of Nessâ Untouchables going forward perhaps?
MU: No spoilers revealed here, but keep in mind that at this stage of life, Eliot Ness was primarily based in Cleveland, Ohio, at a time of the infamous torso murders. If you’ve never heard about this sick, maniacal killing spree, go to a history book and read all about it!
BB: You are obviously having fun with this book. What is it about bringing these two franchises together you enjoy so as a writer?
MU: Like “Roots,” it is a multi-generational family saga. It deals with family dynamics, family functions and dysfunctions, choices to be made based on blood, traditions, heritage, or on the rejection of those very same things. There is normally much drama in a family. When you have a family of different generations of masked men whose missions are to become champions of justice, whose decision is it as to what exactly is “justice” and how exactly one carries that out? What happens when one generation sees things quite differently from another? The answer is conflict and consequences.
BB: Weâve discussed your love of history. Have you done much research into the history of this era for the book? Even embedded in fiction, how important to you is period accuracy in a book of this nature?
MU: As a history major and history buff, historical accuracy is essential. I spent months researching events and people of the time referred to in this graphic novel/comic book miniseries. And as you know, I am apparently the only writer in comic book history who provides footnotes at the end of every issue and at the end of the graphic novel itself to enhance the readersâ enjoyment of the story by pointing out what is real and factual and what is not.
BB: What about artist Giovanni Timpano? Did he do any historic research for this limited series?
MU: Poor Giovanni! I am such a stickler for historical accuracy but so is he! So he must also do his historical research to make sure everything is accurately drawn from automobiles to clothing to landmarks to street scenes, etc., and they all must correspond accurately to what was in existence at that particular time. He is just as insanely crazy about the details as I am.
BB: How close are you working with Giovanni on the book?
MU: We are full partners. He has questions and suggestions that always make for a better story and for more cutting edge graphic story-telling, in particular.
BB: I know the big emphasis is on Green Hornet and Lone Ranger, but do Kato or Tonto play any role in the series?
MU: While they don’t play a big role in terms of page count, their appearance in the story is essential, emotional, and ties the two of them together as much as John Reid and Britt Reid are tied together. Tonto and Kato fans should begin the ride with us in issue #1, but just wait until we get to issues #4 and #5!
BB: Care to tantalize us in a non-spoilery manner with what might be coming up?
MU: For those fans who read my graphic novel, The Shadow/Green Hornet: Dark Nights, there is a sequence in the Lone Ranger/Green Hornet that is the pay-off to a sequence set-up in that earlier graphic novel. If you never read it, it won’t hinder your reading of this. But if you did, it will be one of many Easter eggs I have planted in this series. Also, you will find out just who ELSE the Lone Ranger and the Green Hornet are related to! Philip Jose Farmer will be drooling! Lastly… Semi-spoiler… Wait till you finally see the Lone Ranger and the Green Hornet actually fighting side-by-side! I promise you an unexpected twist!