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#1230547 - Mon Dec 30 2019 09:20 PM Archie Goodwin's and Walt Simonson's Manhunter
First Amongst Daves
Offline Banned from the DCMBs since 2002.

Registered: Wed Jan 23 2002
Posts: 15171
I recently revisited this story:

This story (not a title, but a series of back-up stories) blew away my little 15 year old head when I read the collected works. It was written in such a different style to other comics I was reading at the time - Gerry Ordway's Fury of Firestorm, Len Wein's Green Lantern, or Roy Thomas' All-Star Squadron:

a. Goodwin packed in the narrative text when he needed to, and then used silence for many of the combat scenes. That was strange and innovative.

b. It was no-holds-barred, desperately violent. I don't recall a similar line of dialogue around the time in any other comic where a villain openly threatens that he is going to shoot the good guy in the head. We'd see that frequently in Batman nowadays, but not Batman of Aparo and Adams back in the late 70s.

I think what I didn't understand until I wrote the review was the espionage backdrop of the era. In interviews, Simonson repeatedly talks about Manhunter as the toe-dip into martial arts. Yet no one has thought about The Day of the Jackal movie being released that year, and the high profile, incandescent vengeance of Israel over the Munich Olympics massacre.

I tagged Walt Simonson when I posted this story on Twitter, hoping he'd chime in, but no luck.

Pimping my site, again.

#1230548 - Mon Dec 30 2019 10:48 PM Re: Archie Goodwin's and Walt Simonson's Manhunter [Re: First Amongst Daves]
the G-man
Offline Officially "too old for this shit"

Registered: Fri May 16 2003
Posts: 43647
Loc: the right
You read it in collected form at 15. I read it in serialized form when it first appeared. Blew my nine-year-old mind, especially the ending.

It was also my introduction to Walt Simonson's art which was totally different than anything in comics (especially the relatively staid DC Comics) at the time. To this day, he's one of my top ten Batman artists largely based on this story.

Too bad DC animated doesn't adapt this, using Simonson's art as the storyboards/character designs.

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