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Manhunter #11

Posted: Saturday, June 18, 2005
By: Ray Tate



"Manhunted 2: Chasing the Dragon"

We're not talking puff here...

Writer: Marc Andreyko
Artists:Javier Pina; Diego Olmos(p), Fernando Blanco; Bob Petrecca(i), Steve Buccellato(c)
Publisher: DC

Danger! Warning! Danger, Will Robinson! Four different artists work on Manhunter!

Thank you, Robot. Actually, the presence of two sets of artists on two separate sections of Manhunter do not as tradition usually dictates sabotage Marc Andreyko's intriguing mystery.

Guesting this issue, Cameron Chase of the DEO, lays out the facts:

"OK, we have five former and current Manhunters. Two Dead. One missing. One gainfully employed by the Power Company. And this new one, who likes killing bad guys. Other than the name fetish. What do they have in common?"

I still haven't a clue. Andreyko makes me wish to find out, and he's no stranger to the mystery and detective genres. Andreyko combined forces with Brian Bendis to report the facts about Elliot Ness and his dealings with the Torso Slayer of Kingsbury Row in the aptly named Torso. In Manhunter he takes advantage of an inadvertent legacy to spin out what seems to be a fair play mystery.

A character clad in the garb of Dumas, Mark Shaw's arch-nemesis who is in fact dead has been murdering all who assumed the name Manhunter. Why and who goes unanswered, but Andreyko gives the reader a clue in one Manhunter's reaction to the face of his killer. Well, it's a real subtle clue that doesn't actually amount to much apart from one wild speculation, on my part.

Meanwhile, Kate Spencer tries harder to be a good mother to Ramsey, and this time she succeeds. She seems a lot softer toward her son and seems to have gained more confidence through her dual identity. The way in which Andreyko shows her interacting with her assistant Damon shows her to be a fair and moral, and she even exhibits a sense of humor when disrupting another's activities. I keep smiling when recalling that Andreyko in an interview said that he intended to make Kate unlikeable. I liked this character from the get-go. Maybe he meant those obsessed with keeping female super-heroes in wheelchairs, raped or murdered would hate her.

Javier Pina and Fernando Blanco draw Kate to the model set by Jesus Saiz. This adherence to the original incarnation keeps the character distinctive and prevents her from falling into the vat of generically designed characters. They also come up with a unique Cameron Chase, and colorist Steve Buccellato shows both women to be very fashionable even when dressing down. Kate's business suit is also fetchingly hued.

Another striking aspect of Manhunter is how you needn't have read any of the issues to comprehend the one in your hand. While this is part two in an ongoing story, it's also a great point in which new readers can abandon the revolting lion's share of the DC universe and jump on to Kate Spencer's adventures as a true hero out to balance the justice system.



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