A few months ago I suggested that the sheer number of plotlines and characters wouldn’t help the back-from-cancellation Manhunter from finding new readers. * Sad to say, for whatever reason, this is the last issue.
And dang it if it doesn’t show that creator Marc Andreyko can indeed turn in a script with lots of players, without it being tough to follow. For in this issue and last’s flash forward several years, he has them all involved in a single storyline – Kate Spencer being challenged by two new (to us, anyway) villains as all-gwown-up son Ramsey graduates from film school. And the villains are great value – murderous cannibals Sweeney Todd and Nellie Lovett, as seen in Stephen Sondheim’s classic musical (who would guess this was written by a gay man in good standing?). As depicted here, they’re scary as hell, almost as frightening as the pie Mrs Lovett gives Todd as a love token.
The pay-off, as the terrible twosome crash Ramsey’s party, is a joy, reminding us what a terrific supporting cast Manhunter has had, and the ending has a wonderful logic to it, when you think about the book’s title.
Andreyko’s script has some lovely witty moments, and even when the characters get sarcastic with one another, it’s done with affection. And while Gaydos isn’t an obvious superhero artist, he’s done a great job with the quieter moments of drama. Pinch-hitting on pencils here are Dennis Calero and Fernando Blanco, and they do wonders with the more bombastic moments
It wasn’t perfect, but I’ll miss this book – Kate Spencer is one of the most complicated (read, often annoying as hell) new characters in years, and her supporting cast aren’t far behind in the charisma stakes. Let’s hope they reunite with Andreyko for the occasional special.