In the late 1970s, the best an axed DC Comics title could expect for a second chance at life was a cameo in the pages of "Cancelled Comic Cavalcade."
Flash forward 30 years, and we find that the modern "Manhunter" series has received not one, but two stays of execution. Originally cancelled in May 2006 with issue #25, DC then commissioned an additional five-issue arc from series writer Marc Andreyko ("Torso"). The publisher pulled the plug a second time after issue #30, due to low sales, but massive support from both DC editorial and an extremely vocal fanbase has earned "Manhunter" a third chance on life as issue #31 hits comic shop shelves on June 4.
Andreyko told CBR News, "John Hilty, my editor extraordinaire, called and said, 'You're never going to believe this, but...'
"Truthfully, DC has been above and beyond with their treatment of 'Manhunter,'" Andreyko continued. "I will admit two cancellations and two un-cancellations in six months were a bit of a strain on the old ticker but DC's belief in the book has been gratifying and much appreciated."
"Manhunter" follows the heroic adventures of Kate Spencer, a lawyer turned superhero who repurposes the weaponry and armaments of captured or fallen villains to bring her own brand of justice to the DCU. Asked why he feels Kate Spencer has such a loyal following, Andreyko responded, "I would guess the same things that I love about 'Manhunter.' Watching the character of Kate grow, and often stumble first, into the role of hero, as well as a person. And secondly, a rich supporting cast, all of whom are a pleasure to write."
Cover art by Liam Sharp for issue #32 depicts a key member of that rich supporting cast, Department of Extranormal Operations (DEO) Director, Mr. Bones.
The new interior artist on the book is Michael Gaydos ("New Avengers" and "Alias") and Andreyko couldn't be more thrilled. "Michael is turning in some astounding work that I think will make a lot of people take notice," he said.
Andreyko teased that when the title resumes, time will have elapsed for Kate but "not in a big 'One Year Later' sense. It won't be much of an issue at all." He explained, "Kate gets involved in the disappearance of a friend's cousin and that leads her to the El Paso/Mexico border. Once there, Kate is shocked to find out about the hundreds of missing and murdered women between El Paso and Ciudad Juarez."
And while the book will not tie in directly with "Final Crisis," Andreyko said, "Whatever changes are wrought by 'Final Crisis' will be addressed if need be.
Andreyko said he has the next six to eight arcs for "Manhunter" in various stages of planning but his goal is to hit the century mark with the title. "My dream is to get to #100," he said. "So please, buy this book."
The writer said no "stunts" or major character overhauls are planned to help boost sales on "Manhunter," but offered, "We will be dealing with lots of 'real world' issues and how they play out in the context of DCU. It's challenging and a little scary, in a fun way, because some of the stories are bound to raise some eyebrows."
Likewise, DC hasn't asked Andreyko to make any changes either. "Other than to really go full out on the stories," he continued. "Multiple cancellations aside, this has been a dream job and everyone at DCU has been nothing but great."
Andreyko revealed he also has a new miniseries that will soon be announced for DC imprint Wildstorm and a number of other projects that he is actively pitching to DC and other publishers.
"Manhunter" #31 arrives in stores on June 4.
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