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Manhunter #26

Posted: Saturday, December 9, 2006
By: Ray Tate



Writer:Mark Andreyko
Artists: Javier Pina(p), Robin Riggs(i), Jason Wright(colors)

Publisher: DC Comics

The story in Manhunter is the only good thing to come out of the prelude to Infinite Crisis. Wonder Woman executed Maxwell Lord because he implausibly found a way to mind-control Superman and use him as a weapon. We learn in Manhunter that "the World Court exonerated her," but America still wants her head. Wonder Woman comes to Kate Spencer a.k.a. Manhunter to acquire her services as a defense attorney.

The Art Adams cover suggests a big ol' super-hero slugfest. I'm telling you right now that this does not occur. I say this because the people who read Manhunter probably do not want to see a super-hero slugfest, and Andreyko makes it very obvious that this is not what occurs. Rather, Wonder Woman pays for Kate’s services by training her.

The training session allows Javier Pina, Robin Riggs and Jason Wright to choreograph smart, fun and interesting melees pitting Wonder Woman, who often attacks through intriguing examples of stealth, against Kate, who gets in a couple of good hits.

His approach to Wonder Woman offers one of the best. Wonder Woman in the book exhibits speed, strategy and skill befitting that of an Amazon as well as that of a super-hero having years of experience under her tiara. Andreyko also avoids the habit of writing her as second to Superman in terms of power. Next to Kate, she becomes the center of attention. Wonder Woman is the number one hero in the book. She's the hero others, such as Kate, wish to emulate.

Of course, Andreyko characterizes Kate expertly. Kate behaves in a much different fashion than other super-heroes, and this refreshingly novice behavior elicits laughter from Diana. In addition, we get to see Kate dispense off the cuff legal advice, which helps to characterize her subtly as an attorney. She exhibits her cunning in battle, which characterizes her as her alter-ego. It's interesting too that she holds back when fighting Wonder Woman. Kate does not wish to fight super-heroes. She blows holes in villains.

Added to the draw of Wonder Woman and Kate, Manhunter works in two subplots. One involves Cameron Chase and an old enemy from her past. The other takes a peek in on Mark Shaw's travels. The first delivers intrigue. The second creates mystery and injects humor.

Manhunter returns. Let's hope that her title lasts as long as Spider-Girl’s run.



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