Friday, February 16, 2007

Manhunter, Now and Then

So, today I want to talk about Manhunter #28, and Manhunter as a whole series.

First of all, this is one of like 3 books I gleefully look forward to every month. Unfortunately, that is going to be short lived. As with issue #30, this series is to be cancelled. Sigh. Deep sigh.

I will not go into great detail on the background of the book. Comic readers will have awareness into this already.

I enjoy the cast of characters. Cameron Chase, Dylan, the DEO, Mark Shaw, et al.
I enjoy the human “aspect” of Manhunter, Kate Spencer. When not Manhunter and in the courtroom, the story still has great pacing. None of the guest appearances, from JLA in issues 6-8, or some Golden Age DC heroes, have been forced and flow very well into the storyline. The writer/editor (whomever) has not force-fed us some appearance of Batman for $$$$.

Which now brings me to the current arc of Manhunter, guest-starring Wonder Woman, and friends. This book may be ending, but let me tell you, it sure as hell is not going out with a whimper, but leaving a mark in DC with an important storyline.

Skipping the backdrop of 26 & 27, the none other than Blue Beetle, THE Ted Kord, shows up suddenly at the courthouse, causing a ruckus of questions and comments from the mass of media that is present for the Wonder Woman case. Blue Beetle, Wonder Woman and Kate Spencer all bail out of there to the “Bug” and are promptly attacked by the MadMen. K. We still have only Kate. Wonder Woman has to save her out of a falling “Bug” after Blue Beetle bails out first, leaving Kate.
Enter, friend of Wonder Woman, the one and only Batman. Why? Because Wonder Woman wants to know who Ted Kord really is, and Mr. Bat Detective is the best way to find out for sure, as, well, he doesn’t trust the magic of the lasso, which would also of course work.
So, enter Batman. Spooking Kate from the shadows when he appears. So we get fun Batman? He makes mention of how Kate’s “reputation preceeds her”, as an off the cuff mark in his knowing she is Manhunter.
We get lots of blah blah blah from Ted, WW and the Bat, and lots of amazement and some awe from Kate of the company she is currently keeping. It is interesting blah blah blah, but I don’t want to spoil it.
Exit Batman, saying it will take time for the bloodwork, and his remarks as he left to Kate were something along the lines of “I’m not finished with you yet” (I do not have the exact messaging in front of me while writing this) as a sign of times to come. Way back in issue two, I think, she had a dream sequence of Batman scolding her for the whole “you don’t have the right to take a life” routine when she off’ed Copperhead in ish 1. So, Kate already has a chip on her shoulder about that, and now, in the flesh, ol’ Bats throws her for a loop with that last comment.
AND then, for the grand finale on this ish, Enter a shadowed figure, offering to give the REAL tape of Max’s killing to Kate, not the muted one that was made public. Who was this tape from? Lets just say there is a big ol’ forefront, I believe, chess piece of a King or a Bishop. Can you say, Sasha? Checkmate? I can, and I will!

Oh, and we get some more monkish/Tibetan Mark Shaw stuff, and some Cameron Chase action, with a Dylan coming out of witness protection to try and protect his gal! That was cool!

This book was fun, added more mystery, and sure as hell does not seem like its ending, not with the continuity/history being considered, nor the persons in the book.

This my friends is a great book, and a great series. I am very sad to see it go. I hope that one day it rises from the ashes and Marc Andreyko gets to write this character, with cast, again as it is a star book.

To those who said write letters to DC for extending the book again, great!
To those who said thank DC for the additional 5 issues when it was to be cancelled at 25, the hell with that. Screw you DC! This book jumped 10 spots to be the 95th most purchased/ordered book. Still low, but you know what, in all the responses I read from people trying this book for the first time, never, ever did I see a negative or neutral response. Not one!
And a GREAT BIG SHOUT out to Gail Simone, for taking Manhunter to the Birds of Prey, one of the other three books I look forward to every month. You Rule!!!

Fine! Cancel it! Just means I get to give you less $$$ during the year in response to your cancellation of one of my favorite series for other books. SO THERE!

Anyways, my jaded take on Manhunter #28, rating is 5/5!

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Anonymous Fin Fang Doom said...

It's a shame DC never even gave the character a chance to catch on in the much better seeing Birds of Prey before decided to cancel Manhunter. I didn't start reading the book until she was in BoP, and now Manhunter is one of the characters I most look forward to reading about.

12:47 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

Started reading this too late. The last issue had Ted Kord on the front so I had to pick it up, shame I didn't do it earlier, tried looking for 28 this week but to no avail, they ever resolve if it's Ted or not?

3:34 PM  
Blogger Randy said...

Fin: Yep, now I"m just going to hope there becomes a more static team (even though I know its not going that direction) so Manhunter can have more press.

Nick: Nope, not totally settled. Think that's going to come out in 29, pre-titled- "The Verdict".

Thanks guys!

2:21 PM  

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