Archive for Manhunter

Knife Guys

The Goon #30

Bella, the love of the Goon’s life, is back. The Goon doesn’t want to talk to her, because she broke his heart. Franky doesn’t want her around because she makes the Goon crazy. The pitiful tale of Roscoe the Orphaned Werepup gets even more pitiful when he gets hit by a train. Labrazio takes some more revenge on the Goon’s allies. Buzzard has control of the Zombie Priest, but he runs into a monster called a woky that wants the answer to a question that Buzzard doesn’t know.

Verdict: Thumbs up. The woky is good and scary, and the soap opera that is the Goon’s life is full of more ups and downs. The story concludes in the next issue — expect a lot more fighting and a lot more awful stuff to happen to the Goon and his friends. This is a smack-jam awesome comic book — you should be reading every issue you can get your paws on.

Captain Britain and MI-13 #7

Plotka, the creator of the Mindless Ones, is running amok in Birmingham, creating slaves by offering people their hearts’ desires — and he manages to snag Captain Britain by offering him his long-lost wife, Meggan. Blade and Spitfire call a truce in their vampire-hunter-vs.-vampire-speedster brawl to join the fight against the monsters, but with Plotka creating more and more unstoppable Mindless Ones, does anyone have a chance of surviving?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Wild stuff going on here. There are some surprising secrets revealed about the Black Knight’s Ebony Blade, Captain Britain’s fantasy of life with Meggan is well-done, and I’m glad Blade isn’t likely to turn out to be a one-shot hero-killer. I do wish they’d figure out some way to heal up Spitfire’s skeletal arm, though…

Manhunter #36

Manhunter and the rest of the Birds of Prey get out of Mexico, the Suicide Squad shuts down the sadistic Crime Doctor, Cameron Chase is pregnant, Dylan is on the run from the Joker, and Kate goes public with enough evidence to shut down unethical megacorp Vesetech, thanks to their tainted research into almost every piece of medical and drug treatment on the market. But all the publicity isn’t all good for Kate — it gets her screamed at by Amanda Waller, and Mr. Bones has to cut her loose from the DEO. On top of that, Kate doesn’t even know yet that her son has superpowers.

Verdict: Thumbs up. I still think the art is weird, but it’s kinda cool to have a comic where the hero delivers the coup de grace to a villain in the form of a lengthy analysis of legal and evidentiary issues.

Comments off

It’s ON like Donkey Kong!


Manhunter #35

First, that’s an awesome cover. “Bring it.” Pretty much sums up everything there is to know about Kate Spencer.

Anyway, Kate just up and waltzes into Vessetech, the evil megacorp that’s serial-killing women in Mexico and manufacturing metahumans. She’s got the Birds of Prey as backup, but she ends up taking on most of the bad guys solo. Meanwhile, Kate’s son Ramsey is coming to grips with his new superpowers, and DEO agent Cameron Chase has a surprise announcement.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Quite a lot of excellent face-punching going on here. I still think the art is a bit weird, but it’s at least not too distracting most of the time. Also, Cameron Chase should appear in more comics, especially if she kicks people in the face.


March on Ultimatum Saga

This is mostly a textual comic, recounting the more-or-less full history of Marvel’s Ultimate universe, with updated and re-imagined versions of Marvel’s characters, leading to the run-up to their big “Ultimatum” crossover.

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s free, and it’d have to be pretty awful to make “free” look like a bad thing. At any rate, it’s not bad at all, and it’s a great way to catch up on all the stuff that’s been happening with Ultimate Marvel.

Comments off

Warrior Women


Wonder Woman #24

Quite a bit of fun in this one. We start out with Diana taking Tom Tresser to Themyscira to meet her mother, Queen Hippolyta. She takes him on a few chores as a test — specifically, hand-feeding the griffins. This doesn’t really work out well, but Hippolyta accepts him anyway, makes him an honorary Amazon, and gives her blessing to Diana’s relationship with him. She also gets off the best line in the comic, after asking Tresser and Diana for a final favor:


I actually laughed out loud when I read that.

Anyway, after leaving Themyscira, Wondy travels to Hollywood, where some slick movie execs have decided to make a Wonder Woman movie and are seeking her approval. Wondy takes a couple of her albino ape buddies along to help impress the movie moguls, tries to bond with a bitter lawyer, and gets a tour of the backlot. What she sees of the movie rehearsals, she really doesn’t approve of, and it does look really awful — the movie version of Wondy has a lightsabre, and there are just way too many awful one-liners. Unfortunately, Laney Kirswell, the studio head, is hiding a nasty secret that leads to even more trouble for Diana.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Lots of great dialogue, funny jokes, bizarre situations, giant sharks, and an unexpected supervillain. This one’s great fun.


Manhunter #34

Kate tangles with the Suicide Squad and spends several happy minutes just slaughtering Multiplex’s clone bodies, but she’s still badly outnumbered. Luckily, Huntress and Lady Blackhawk from the Birds of Prey show up to pull her bacon outta the fire — but there’s not actually going to be any more fighting. The Suicide Squad were undercover trying to discover who was killing women in Mexico and why. Meanwhile, her son Ramsey has developed superpowers — how is she gonna deal with having grandparents and a son who have superpowers?

Verdict: Thumbs up, kinda. I felt like the Suicide Squad wasn’t used the way I’d prefer ’em, and the stuff with Ramsey’s powers just felt a bit odd. But in general, it was alright.

Comments off

Truth is Fiction


Fantastic Four: True Story #1

This is what they’re talking about when they talk “high concept”: a bunch of fictional superheroes travel through the universe of fiction and encounter a bunch of characters from fiction.

Basically, everyone on earth has lost interest in fiction. No one’s reading books, no one’s watching movies. And actually, something pretty nasty is happening within fiction itself — we see something dark and scary threatening Tarzan, Riki-Tiki-Tavi, and the heroes of M.R. James’ ghost stories. So Reed Richards invents the science of, well, let’s call it fictionography and creates an imaginary fictocraft that the FF can use to travel into the world of fiction. Once there, they meet their guide, Dante Alighieri, writer of — and a character in — “The Divine Comedy.” And the team’s first mission? Fight off a horde of imps and gremlins to protect the Dashwood sisters from Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility.”

Verdict: Thumbs up. There are some really funny moments in here — Johnny Storm, Ben Grimm, and a defeated monster surrounded by mimes; Ben and Johnny’s quarrel condensed down to basic script descriptions; Reed happily dropping a “Behold!” on everyone; the FF not understanding why Dante refers to them as “comic book characters;” and Ben dropping Jane Austen quotes while clobbering monsters.

I do wish the story was moving a shade faster, and I’ve got to quibble about some of the selections for the FF’s favorite fictional works — Reed Richards loving the “Josie and the Pussycats” movie and Ben Grimm loving “Of Mice and Men” just don’t really make sense. Reed is so a sci-fi fan, if only to scavenge the plots for new things to invent, and Ben seems like the type to go for either Mack Bolan novels or old action pulps.


Manhunter #33

Kate, still trying to track down who’s killing scores of women in the Mexican deserts, gets ambushed in a pharamaceutical company by a bunch of superpowered security guards. Elsewhere, her mother and (I guess) dad learn that her (I guess) brother has gotten superpowers. Kate also runs into the Suicide Squad, not knowing that the Birds of Prey are on the way to bail her out.

Verdict: Thumbs down. I know I’m not as well acquainted with Manhunter’s backstory as I could be, but this story confused the tar outta me. Not real thrilled with the art either.

Comments off

The Return of Kate Spencer


Manhunter #31

It’s yet another triumphant return for the most frequently almost-cancelled comic in DC’s stables. For new readers, we get a good recap of the character’s origin and previous adventures (prosecutor Kate Spencer, tired of seeing metahuman crooks beat the system, takes up crimefighting as a hobby, using a bunch of cast-off equipment from other super-people). Once the story kicks off, Kate beats the bone spurs out of the Atomic Skull, then gets set on the trail of the Juarez mass murders (for an excellent overview of this real-life mystery, read Maxo’s muy excellente summary here). Anyway, Kate ends up stranded on the border and meets up with a certain superhero from that neck of the woods.

Verdict: Thumbs up. I’d never read much of “Manhunter” before, but it looks to be plenty good. The artwork takes a little getting used to, but it has a realistic quality I like. I’ll be picking this one up more often.


Comic Book Comics #1

From the creators of the brilliant “Action Philosophers,” it’s a comic book about comic books! This one has actually been out for a while, but Lubbock didn’t get it until this past week. Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey are putting together a history of comics in this one, starting out with a few quick pages on how comic strips and comic books got their start in America, and then narrowing the focus down to a few star players, including Winsor McCay (creator of “Little Nemo in Slumberland” and film animation pioneer), Jack Kirby, Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster, Walt Disney, Will Eisner, and Joe Simon.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Much like “Action Philosophers,” this is far more entertaining than it has any right to be.

Comments off