Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Jack Kirby's Manhunter

Manhunter is the name given to several different DC Comics superheroes/antiheroes, as well as the Manhunters, an entire race of androids created by the Guardians of the Universe as a forerunner to the Green Lantern Corps. (Note: None of these should be confused with the more well-known DC Comics superhero called the Martian Manhunter, who is sometimes addressed as Manhunter).


The first Manhunter's first appearance was in the Quality Comics title Police Comics #8 and his solo stories ended in issue #101. The Quality Comics characters were purchased by DC Comics when Quality went out of business in 1956. Dan Richards would eventually be featured in Young All-Stars and All-Star Squadron. His origin was retold in Secret Origins (vol. 2) #22.

Donald "Dan" Richards attended the police academy with his girlfriend's brother, Jim, who was at the top of the class, while Dan was at the very bottom. After Jim was framed for a crime he didn't commit, Dan took up the identity of Manhunter to track down the actual killer. He caught the perpetrator and cleared Jim's name. Afterwards, however, he continued to operate as Manhunter. His sidekick was a dog named Thor, who was later retconned to be a robotic sentry operating under the auspices of the Manhunter cult.[1] Dan's granddaughter, Marcie Cooper, became the third Harlequin after he convinced her to join the Manhunters. Dan Richards was later killed by Mark Shaw, who had fallen back into his Dumas persona.



1st Issue Special Publication History

Few of the titles actually got their own series, the major exception being Mike Grell's The Warlord which first appeared in issue #8, cover date November 1975. Issues #1 (featuring Atlas), #5, and #6 (Dingbats of Danger Street) featured art and story by comics legend Jack Kirby, with issue #5 being notable for featuring Kirby's revamp of the DC character Manhunter.

A number of issues featured existing DC Characters: issue #3, Metamorpho, written by the characters creator Bob Haney, issue #7, The Creeper, illustrated by the character's creator Steve Ditko, issue #9, The Golden Age character Doctor Fate, and issue #13, Jack Kirby's New Gods.

Issue #12 featured a revised version of the Golden Age Character Starman and would later be used in James Robinson's 1990's series focused on the character Jack Knight. The character is currently a supporting player in Justice League of America.

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