Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Who's Who: Manhunter

I continue my deep dive into the history of Mark Shaw, Leviathan with a quick peek at Who's Who Update 1987.

This opens up the next chapter in Mark Shaw's life as he reclaims the moniker of Manhunter and tries to turn it into something noble.

I love the late 80's for DC. The aftershocks of Crisis had finally been stabilized. Legends had happened. And suddenly there was this fertile creative soil out of which tremendous and long lasting ideas and characters sprung forth.

Manhunter is one of them. 

I will remind people that Kirby's Manhunter issue happened in 1975. Englehart's ideas around it, tying a Manhunter cult into the Lantern Corps happened in 1977. 

10 years later, John Ostrander pulls Mark Shaw Privateer out of comic book limbo and makes a solo title out of it. 


The Manhunter page has art by the series title's original artist Doug Rice. Rice is known for bringing a little Manga-style flair to the book in it's opening issues.

I like the post to here, a sort of confident looking here, his foot on the crumbling lion face of the old Manhunter cult, showing he has broken it. And this shogun style costume is perfect for Rice's style. Even the robotic mask works. 

And the text basically gives a rundown up until this point when Shaw is about to go out on his own as a bounty hunter.

I do like how he is described as a 'formidable' hand to hand combatant.

So let's settle in. I don't know how much of his solo title I'll look at. But how did Shaw go from a solo adventurer to the head of a gigantic (some might say Leviathan) army?


H said...

I may not have much love for late 80's DC but I have to admit- that's a beautiful Ty Templeton cover.

I look at that period in almost the opposite way to you- a time of devastation and loss, 50 years of characters and history lost with only a (relative) few survivors, many of whom had changed to the point of being unrecognizable. There were a few new characters and character reinventions that worked for me, but for the most part it didn't feel like DC anymore. There have been rises and dips since then but I've had to more carefully curate my DC purchases.

Martin Gray said...

I enjoyed the period; sure, we’d had massive losses like Kara and Superboy, Flash and Legion history, but there was a real sense of ‘anything can happen’ and the new titles and experiments - Blue Beetle, Thriller, The Flash, Swamp Thing, Nathaniel Dusk and so much more - excited me. And I soon came to love Ma and Pa Kent being around.

But I never tried the Manhunter book, having found Mark Shaw and his mythos a bit dull. Plus, that costume is a horror to my eyes, with all that glaring, the inhuman face and the robotic schoolboy cap. I hear it was good, mind.