Sunday, March 20, 2005

MANHUNTER #8

Another episode in the life of Kate Spencer, amateur vigilante. And this is a good thing.

We ended last month's issue with Kate's car being bombed, presumably as a result of her being the prosecutor in the trial of Carl Sands, the Shadow Thief, whose escape was being simultaneously engineered. Escape being the not the means to freedom, however, but instead as a means by which Cheshire could come in and take care of him once and for all.

I won't speak to the matters of the trial -- the folks at Suspension of Disbelief are taking care of that end -- beyond wondering why Kate didn't have a qualified assistant seconding her and why there wasn't a day off from the trial when the lead prosecutor was nearly assassinated and the defendant nearly kidnapped and killed.

In the wake of the attempted murders, Kate navigates both her public and secret lives through her usual combination of blind luck, bluster, and careful planning. She's fearless in both roles -- subpoenaing the JLA and taking on Cheshire are pretty par for the course -- and her full-throttle approach, as usual, is both high risk and high reward. What's great is that Kate may be fearless, but she's not flawless in either role and sometimes her escapes, like her successes, are very much a near thing. Here, Dylan is the obvious one to turn to -- Kate chose him in the first place because he's resourceful -- and his little ramble about why he has antidote lying around is entertaining. (I'll ignore the medical logistics as well. Dr. Scott can discuss if he so chooses.)

Swirling around in the background is the death last issue of Dan Richards, a Manhunter of the past, and the current presence of Merlyn, Monacle, and Phobia. While the first two of that trio are in town to see to the Shadow Thief, it does look like Phobia's about to subcontract them. LA, once a wasteland for hero types, is suddenly crawling with both good guys and bad.

Also around in the background is the nosy reporter breaking in to Kate's apartment and going through her stuff. To me, this doesn't seem outrageous. Here in New York, where Page Six can spot bold-faced names coming out of lavatories and supermarkets alike, that someone would go so far is completely reasonable drama. Kate Spencer is a name and anything on her sells newspapers; that someone hasn't gotten caught breaking into Wayne Manor or rifling Lois Lane's desk at work surprises me more.

What doesn't surprise me, certainly not after the failure of Fallen Angel is that DC saw fit to include a favorable quote from a newspaper review on the cover, but can't be bothered to collect this series in trade.

3 Comments:

Blogger Charles W. said...

I believe that DC announced a trade collection of the first five issues at WizardWorld LA this past weekend. That's a start . . .

Mon Mar 21, 11:50:00 AM EST  
Blogger The Comics Shrew said...

*goes and checks* September or October runs it a little late, but it's better than never.

This would have been a great title to do what Vertigo did with Books of Magick and Ex Machina and get the first trade out quickly and cheaply in time for folks to catch up and then go month-to-month without serious back-issue hunting. (Also Fallen Angel, Firestorm, Monolith and the other 'Suburbs of the DCU' titles, most of which have been cancelled or are on the verge of being so.)

Mon Mar 21, 12:18:00 PM EST  
Anonymous windnight said...

unfortunatly, a lot of good titles got a raw deal out of DC when it comes to trades. fallen angel tops my list on that one though.

ex machina is a wildstorm title, but you aready knew that. for some reason, the last several years have left me feeling as though dc's imprints have a lot more buisness acumen then dc itself does.

...i could just be bitter about fallen angel, though.

Wed Mar 23, 06:03:00 PM EST  

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