Friday, December 8, 2006

Favorite Panel Friday: Manhunter makes a killing

Let's get one thing out of the way — Manhunter fights Wonder Woman, so there are plenty of fanboy fantasies being catered to in Manhunter #26. I, for one, appreciate it. A lot.

But this quieter panel shows what Manhunter is really all about. Kate Spencer — an L.A. laywer by trade and a superhero whenever she's not in the courtroom — is not your typically conflicted vigilante. The reason she wears a costume and brutally pounds on the bad guys is simple; they royally piss her off.

A lot of things piss Kate off actually, and her constantly sarcastic mood is what makes her appealing and nearly unlikable at the same time. On top of that, she's a single-mom who doesn't really pay enough attention to her young son, she constantly berates her friends and until recently she chain-smoked with spiteful glee.

Oh, and she doesn't mind killing villains if they need a-killin'.

It would be easy for this kind of character to become a caricature, but writer Marc Andreyko and regular artist Javier Piña have done a nice job of consistently reminding us that there's a complex person under the mask. And I should remind everyone that the title was originally canceled because of low sales, but reader outcry lead to DC making the unusual decision of give Manhunter another chance. Comics fans who haven't been reading the title should give it a chance, too.

As a character, Manhunter is new to the spandex, so she's not that great a superhero yet; honestly, she often not that great a person.

But she's trying. And that's what makes Manhunter a great comic.

Manhunter #26: Marc Andreyko, writer; Javier Piña, artist

1 comment:

L’il E said...

Fanboy fantasies...ahhhhhhh. That's right you tie her up and you tie her up good!

I think I'm really going to enjoy this book, mostly for the fact that, from your description, the protagonist seems like a total bitter, angry, dark person. We need more of those in the world, even the fantasy world. It'll be like Dr. House with body armor and a penchant for breaking limbs. Too bad that they made her quit the fags (I just love the British slang for smokes, I don't really think I can get away with using it)...