When last we blogged, we commented on the fact that Batman, not Superman, would be the first DC character to interact with Doc Savage.
But, then, Batman was usually the first to meet up with other publishers' characters..
Almost a decade before Superman vs. Spider-Man, Batman met up with another company's character...The Green Hornet!
(Note: Most people disregard this as a legitimate cross-over since it was live-action and not a comic, but, AFAIC, characters are characters, and if it's not a pirate / illegal production, it's REAL and it counts!)
In the two-parter "A Piece of the Action" / "Batman's Satisfaction", The Hornet & Kato visit Gotham City while tracking counterfeit stamps.
Since The Hornet's M.O. is pretending to be a criminal, Batman naturally assumes the Vermilion Villain is there to cut himself in on...you guessed it, a piece of the action!
But, since The Hornet is, in fact, a hero, he has to find a way to a) put the counterfeiters out of business and b) avoid a confrontation with the Caped Crusader!
To add to the problem, it turns out that the characters' millionare alter-egos, Bruce Wayne and Britt Reid, have known each other since childhood, and have been competitors at almost everything from then to now!
It ain't a classic by any stretch, but it is fun, and the Big Finale Fight is more Bat-fistcuffs than Hornet-martial arts, but it does have it's moments.
It also provides the answer to the trivia question:
Who's the ONLY actor to play a villain opposite Batman, Captain Kirk, and The Green Hornet?*
(Most people say Frank Gorshin or Julie Newmar, who had memorable appearances on both Star Trek and Batman!)
If you haven't seen them, the episodes will pop up as both Batman and The Green Hornet are in syndication, and airing in a number of cities.
In one of the Great Crimes Against Art, neither show is available on DVD, but I suspect with the Seth Rogan Green Hornet film coming next year, at least Van Williams & Bruce Lee will finally be made available!
*Roger C. Carmel, who played Harcort Fenton "Harry" Mudd in three Star Trek (2 Classic, 1 Animated) eps and Colonel Gumm in the Batman / Green Hornet crossover on Batman!