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Monday, May 15, 2006


The Mournful Fanboy

I believe I've made reference here in the past to the fact that I'm a big slobbering geek who reads comic books. That's right. I'm not proud, but dammit, it's the truth. One of my favorite books is a DC title called Manhunter.

Manhunter is the story of Kate Spencer, a prosecuting attorney in Los Angeles who, when a super-villain she's trying to put away gets off, steals weapons from the police evidence room, cobbles together a super-hero outfit, hunts the guy down and kills him. It's good stuff, not only because it's interesting to look at the super-hero genre from a legal perspective; not only because it features a really interesting supporting cast surrounding a flawed lead character; not only because it captures the feeling of L.A., but also because
it features a rare female protagonist who doesn't have E-cup boobs and a penchant for thongs.

And the writer, Marc Andreyko, is an old college roommate of mine. Marc's a great guy and he's really thrown his heart and soul into this book. Marc takes the time to respond to e-mails. He drops by message boards to answer questions. He sends back-issues of the book to people who can't find it because the troglodytes who run their local comic shop don't order enough issues of a book featuring a new character. He's got a standing offer to buy back copies of the book if a new reader doesn't like it.

Today, DC made the official announcement that Manhunter is going to be canceled in August. This sucks on so many different levels. The book is better written than so much of the crap that's out there. It has a strong, intelligent female lead who dresses relatively modestly. One of its main characters is a guy with back hair who's portrayed in a positive light. It speaks to me.

This is such a good book. And it absolutely blows walruses that it hasn't found a wider audience. At this point, there's not a whole lot that can be done. I'm going to write a letter to DC and I'm going to buy two copies when the next issue comes out this Wednesday. And I'm going to post a link here so that any of my five readers who has an interest in comics can easily order the trade paperback from Amazon.

And I'm going to re-read and re-enjoy the twenty-five issues of Manhunter that DC published. It's the Arrested Development of comics. Just, without David Cross and with a lot more lizard monsters and such.

EDIT: Yesterday, June 2nd, DC Comics publisher Dan DiDio announced that, thanks to fan response, he's extending the run of Manhunter another five issues at least. See, sometimes good things do happen. Just not often.

I'm a fan of Calvin and Hobbes, but that is another story. I will have a look at Manhunter that's for sure.
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