Forget Gotham and Metropolis! Meet LA’s vigilante, Manhunter!
Tired of seeing ridiculously over-endowed female superheroes in midriff-baring, unprotective, illogical costumes? Andreyko brings us Kate Spencer, Los Angeles’s federal prosecutor. She’s sick of seeing sadistic, unrepentent supervillains getting off on technicalities, and, raiding the evidence room, she metes out justice in her own way.
Kate Spencer is unique to the superhero world in that 1) she’s realistically imperfect. She’s a chain smoker, with no desire to quit. She’s a pretty awful mother and divorcee. Work comes first for her (although she does love her son quite a bit, it’s just something always comes up). She’s pretty much an alpha bitch (not necessarily a bad thing). 2) She isn’t sexualized. Her costume covers her from head to toe. There are no cutouts on her chest, no bared abs, no swimsuit wedgies. She’s thin and fit, but she doesn’t have an insectoid waist or balloon boobs. She looks like a normal, in-shape, woman. (Kudos to the pencillers for being fairly consistent–Saiz, Gaydos, Pina, and about a dozen others)
Kate doesn’t have any superpowers. She’s like Iron Man, and has a super suit! The series does go into where the suit came from and such, but with it, she has body armor and super strength, along with a bunch of gadgetry added and maintained by her
blackmailed slave technician, Dylan Battles, ex-supervillain henchman.
I like Andreyko’s writing style. Manhunter is gritty, yet funny. Dylan is hilariously crass. Kate is very rough around the edges. It’s a little hard to like her at first, because she can be harsh, but you end up loving her. I love the super gay-friendly tone of the book (Kate’s legal assistant, Damon, is gay, and later picks himself up a very nice superhero boyfriend). I also love that it takes place in Los Angeles, a city I’m familiar with.
Sadly, the series lasted only 38 issues before it was cancelled for good (it did survive two other cancellation attempts. Kate’s tough!). Andreyko was allowed to wind things up, but he did it with a giant time-skip with the final two issues, so there are a few loose ends. I still think it ended satisfactorily though. I hope Andreyko gets more work, ’cause I want to read more of his stuff. Trades are readily available (five total). Highly recommended.