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Manhunter Oversize Special #1

by Olivier Roth on August 23, 2017

Manhunter Oversize Special #1

The Manhunter in Bring Me a Dream
Story and Layouts: Keith Giffen
Art: Mark Buckingham
Words: Dan DiDio
Colours: Chris Sotomayor

 

The Demon and the Infernal Prisons
Storytellers: Sam Humphries & Steve Rude
Colours: John Kalisz

 

Continuing DC Comics’ celebration of Jack Kirby’s centennial, we are treated this week to two of his less than heroic, but nonetheless fun characters that he created. In the first story, Giffen, DiDio and Buckingham treat us to a fun story involving one of DC’s many manhunters (not the Martian one) and in the back-up, Humphries and Rude present a chilling tale of everyone’s favourite demon: Etrigan!

 

In the feature, Giffen, DiDio and Buckingham deliver a fun tale about the Manhunter: a former big-game hunter on the African Veld who, now in the city, has decided to hunt far less noble game: criminals who deserve no mercy. The inner-monologue that is running throughout, letting the reader know who the Manhunter is, what motivated him to become a vigilante and how he views his brand of justice. Giffen and DiDio also do a good job of placing a foil to the Manhunter by including another one of Kirby and Simon (Joe Simon, long-time partner of Kirby’s): the original Sandman! And partner Sandy!. Sandman is portrayed here in all his Golden Age glory harkening back to how superheroes used to be portrayed. Think: Truth, Justice and the American Way!

 

The story, as with the other specials, works well as a stand-alone and as an introduction to these characters. What stands out, however, is Mark Buckingham’s art. I have mentioned in my previous reviews of these Kirby specials how each artist, with the exception of Chaykin, has tried to incorporate some elements of Kirby into their own style. This is probably the first time that, if you didn’t know any better, you’d mistake this as modern-day, Kirby. Everything from the composition, the movement of the characters and the action screams Kirby. So hats off to Buckingham for doing such a good job.

 

In the back-up featuring Etrigan the Demon, Humphries and Rude offer us some fun and quick story that serves more as an introduction to Etrigan and his human host Jason Blood. For some, who have no knowledge of the character, we learn that Jason Blood was cursed a thousand years ago by the great magician Merlin to be forever linked to Etrigan the Demon, and that this union is less than beneficial for either of them. It’s a nice, quick, chilling tale about the need to be one’s own person and hopefully serves as an opening for readers to explore more of this character.

 

Finally, as with the other specials, we are treated to a few classic Kirby “grabbers”. These have been a joy to read and this issue is no different. It’s a great way to experience a slice of Kirby’s excellent work over the years and to also discover how wide his interests seemed to be. I would also like to mention that in “A World of Thinking Robots”, his prediction of the future is eerily accurate.

Our Score:

8/10

A Look Inside