MANHUNTER SPECIAL #1
This week features another golden age character that is a tribute to the work of Jack Kirby in MANHUNTER SPECIAL #1 from DC Comics. Manhunter is a Golden Age creation from Kirby and Joe Simon who first appeared in Adventure Comics during the 1940s. In this issue the story and layouts are by Keith Giffen, art by Mark Buckingham and words by Dan Didio. The story centers around Paul Kirk, a former big game hunter with no super powers who patrols the streets looking for criminals. When almost beating a man to death he is confronted by Sandman. Over blows the two have a discussion about how heroes should set examples for others and be people to look up to. The issue also includes a back-up story featuring Etrigan the Demon from writer Sam Humphries and artist Steve Rude. This is a short story where Jason Blood tries a desperate attempt to free himself of the curse of having Etrigan live inside him. But things to terribly wrong and Jason learns that the only person who can possibly save him is the Demon.
The entire package is well put together and really feels like it was written seventy years ago, but in a good nostalgic way. The art from Buckingham in the Manhunter story is a good take on Kirby’s work, even going so far as to spread the action out over multiple panels on each page as was the style back then. The script is dialogue heavy, again another nod to a time when heroes and villains really like to chat it up while fighting. The morals are extremely heavy handed and it is all rather campy by today’s standards but that is exactly what one would expect from a comic honoring Jack Kirby’s work. The Etrigan story is a nice follow up, albeit a brief one. Some examples of original Kirby art round out the package making for a very nice value for a $4.99 price point. If you feel like stepping back in time or are just curious about some of the Golden Age characters and what makes them special you should definitely pick up MANHUNTER SPECIAL #1.