Reviewer: Tim Sherdian
Story Title: Dark Shadows
Written by Marc Andreyko
Pencilled by Jesus Saiz
Inked by: Jimmy Palmiotti
Colorist: Steve Buccellato
Lettered by Phil Balsman
Asst Editor: Harvey Richards
Edited by Joan Hilty
Publisher: DC Comics
The other day, I was talking with good friend and fellow Nexus-er Tim Stevens about some of DC’s new books. Tim Stevens is a big fan of the recently cancelled Monolith series. Monolith is a book that had some buzz when it started, along with little to no publicity from it’s publisher. The same can be said about Bloodhound (a book we both like) and this one, Manhunter.
I told Tim to enjoy Manhunter as much as he can now, because much like Monolith, I’m pretty sure this will be cancelled soon enough. That saddens me, because this book is a little bit of a gem. I said the same thing when I reviewed an issue of Bloodhound a few months ago, but this book will not change the medium of comics, nor will it really change your life. Manhunter is not going to be the next Watchmen or Dark Knight Returns. Heck, it may not even be the next Knightfall, but it’s damn good storytelling, regardless.
In a lot of the big comics these days, big events happen. Just look at any of the books that come out this week, there are many that are just a part of a larger story, ones that are epic in scope, and will be epic in length too. Manhunter is not like that at all. There is no big event happening in these 22 pages. What does happen is a good story with some nice art. And after all, isn’t that just what we need in a comic?
The story surrounds Kate Spencer, who is a laywer, and how she suits up as a superhero and fights crime at night, all around downtown LA. Now, at this point, 3 issues into her story, we don’t know why she does this, or what her overall goal is. But hey, I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough. But she’s sort of a female Daredevil, to make things really simple. If something goes wrong in her day job, she goes off and fights the bad guys that night.
But something awful happened last issue. Her son was hurt, so of course Kate is upset this month, so we get the story of her bringing her son to the hospital framed within the story of her fighting some bizarre light and dark powered villain. It’s a very good technique to use in this issue, as we get some back story, while propelling the main action forward.
I was ready to drop this book, thinking of it as inconsequential, but this issue has hooked me. Five years from now, people may not remember this book, but I will enjoy it as much as I can now. You should too.
Final word: Incredibly enjoyable and satisfying super hero comic. Do yourself and DC a favor and get it.