Wednesday, February 16, 2005

MANHUNTER #7

This series has been moved on to the Unreservedly Recommended (now if only DC would help me out here and collect this series in trade) list. Marc Andreyko has said that he wanted to start the series off with a bang, get everything rolling without worrying about a slow building of foundations. Quick and dirty has worked here and this may be the title most benefitting from an Identity Crisis tie-in as Andreyko used that black hole as a means of introducing the new Manhunter into the rest of the DCU.

Andreyko earned mucho brownie points with the pop culture references this month (hey, I loved Quincy back when it was on) as well as presaging what will be the next big arc with the murder of Dan Richards, the (a) 1940's Manhunter. The trial of Carl Sands, the Shadow Thief, progresses apace with Kate's attempt to use sheer force to win -- she subpoenaed the JLA last issue -- being turned against her in a bit of (hold your nose and you can choke it down easily) legal maneuvering from a bowl-cut public defender during the cross-examinations of Hawkman and Superman. Kate, whose apartment has been visited by a nosy reporter, knows things aren't going well and is muttering the eyebrow-raising words about how she should have killed Shadow Thief when she had the chance, but her case is suddenly the least of her trouble -- Richards wasn't the only Manhunter targeted for death. And, to top it all off, in a well-planned assault, Sands is freed by someone in the employ of his old employers -- Cheshire.

Kate's history and motives are still largely missing and opaque, but if that's the past Kate, then the present one is very fully developed indeed. Kate's three roles -- mother, prosecutor, vigilante -- are all in opposition to each other and Kate sucks at balancing them; this month, it's motherhood that's finally starting to move north while her prosecutorial skills are looking overshadowed (pun intended).

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