This month would have seen the “King’s” 100th birthday, you see, and his numerous creations are front and center, as they’ve touched so many lives during the seven decade-long working career of the artist/writer/creator.
Lucky for us, DC Comics has been publishing one-off Kirby specials all month long, featuring some of his most loved – and most obscure – comic book creations.
So far this month, this column has highlighted:
None of these characters share the convoluted history of the protagonist in today’s double-sized, wholly exciting, release of the Kirby-created Manhunter #1!
Manhunter Special #1
Written By: Dan Didio, Keith Giffen & Sam Humphries
Illustrated By: Mark Buckingham & Steve Rude
Published By: DC Comics
Over the years, there have been a number of Manhunter-named characters appearing in various DC Comics titles, all with different histories, superpowers, and looks. Some have been heroes. Some have been villains. None of them have had breakout success as to become recognized by the general population. You can read all about their convoluted history right here.
Still, the longevity of the Manhunter name and design is a testament to the inherent and relevant appeal of the character – and the work done by Jack Kirby, along with Joe Simon, for DC Comics in 1941.
Rick Nelson, our Manhunter, whose name quickly changed to Paul Kirk after one issue in Adventure Comics, was a big game hunter turned crime fighter. He had no superpowers, but, owing to his hunting background, Kirk was an astonishing tracker and used that skillset to hunt down his – now more urban – prey.
That character and theme continues in today’s release of the Manhunter Special #1, written by Dan Didio (Infinity Man and the Forever People, Kamandi) and Keith Giffen (Justice League International, O.M.A.C., Ambush Bug, Legion of Superheroes) and illustrated by Mark Buckingham (Fables). Here, crime has reached epidemic levels that have pushed the masked vigilante to his very limits – and drawn the attention of the Golden Age Sandman!
The Manhunter Special #1 also includes a back-up story featuring another of Jack Kirby’s creations: Etrigan the Demon, written by Sam Humphries (Green Lanterns, Our Love Is Real) and illustrated by the legendary Steve Rude (Nexus, World’s Finest, Before Watchmen: Dollar Bill). As a fantastic bonus for all of you comic book historians out there, you’ll also find a reprint of a story from the Golden Age of comic book publishing!
Today, all signs point to you visiting your local comic book shop.
So make your own hunt and track down Manhunter Special #1 – a continuing celebration of all things Jack Kirby during #Kirby100!