Best Shots Extra: Manhunter 31

Manhunter 31

Best Shots Extra

Manhunter #31

From: DC Comics

Writer: Marc Andreyko

Art: Michael Gaydos

Review by Troy Brownfield

What a joy it is to see this book back on the shelves. Marc Andreyko and his various artistic collaborators have always done a top-shelf job with this character, and she remains of the best-portrayed female protagonists in the DCU. Kate Spencer is flawed in very believable ways, and her occasionally angry crusade carries some real emotional weight. There aren’t many female characters quite like her, certainly not at DC.

That’s one of the many reasons that I hope Manhunter gets to stick around this time. I cheer the company for bringing this perennially low-seller back repeatedly, but I’d like to see them really get behind it (more on that later). The latest issue features some great art from Michael Gaydos; he’s a smart choice for this book. Things are dark and gritty without being murky, but it still retains a bit of super-heroic sheen.

Another smart choice is the extensive recap at the front. This issue is extremely reader friendly. You can easily pick this up and get moving even if you’ve never read a single issue. Kate’s friends, family issues, and foes, are all right there.

Manhunter is the kind of book that DC should champion. I don’t like that it comes it fits and starts, but I do like that it keeps getting a chance, just as I like that DC continues to back Blue Beelte. It does make me wonder: could not a proper place for some of these low-selling books with rabid followings be some kind of DC online initiative? Would it not make sense to protect these characters, which are obvious valuable to the company creatively and intellectually, by making some kind of adjustment beyond typical format? I’m given to think that doing original content online and then collecting it in trade for the comic shops and bookstores is one of the obvious waves of the future. Maybe DC should protect some of these well-loved critical darlings before they’re lost in the shoaling waters of an unpredictable market.

Apart from that, Manhunter remains a strong read. You’ve got a smart, empowered (occasionally screwed-up) lead, a great supporting cast, and talented people behind the scenes. Make my discussion of how to protect it academic: buy Manhunter.

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