Monday, December 31, 2012

Lo! There Shall Come Endings! "Gotterdammerung" by Goodwin and Simonson

The New Year is almost upon us, and the Old Year is nearly done. Here in Groove City that means one thing--another annual installment of Lo! There Shall Come Endings!

One of the best and most beloved series of the Groovy Age was, without a doubt, Archie Goodwin and Walt Simonson's Manhunter, which ran from issues 437-443 (July 1973-July 1974) of Detective Comics. Young Groove loved it, most of fandom--and pro-dom--did, too, as it won award after award during that fateful year. (You can read more about the behind-the-scenes of Manhunter here.) One of the most innovative and daring things Goodwin and Simonson did on the strip (and we're talking about an entire series that was filled to overflowing with innovation and daring) was to, not only complete the strip, but end it with the death of the hero. Goodwin knew he was leaving the editorship of 'Tec with ish 443, so he and Simonson decided to bring Manhunter from the back of  'Tec to team him up with The Batman in this full-out, blockbuster style ending to end all endings, "Gotterdammerung"! T'was a wise decision that led to one masterpiece of comic art. You're gonna love this, Groove-ophiles!
Cover art by Jim Aparo


  1. I still remember, to this day, eagerly awaiting this issue (I had been a faithful Detective reader during Goodwin's stint as editor as well as a huge fan of this Manhunter) and it absolutely knocked my socks off when I finally did get it home from the drug store. Both men have done a ton of fine work both before and after this, but I'm not sure either of them ever topped this.

  2. What a bonus it was in those days to find the Manhunter stories as a back-up in one of my favourite comics. And with an excellent cover by Jim Aparo at the height of his powers, too. What more could we ask for to end the year. Great stuff as always!

  3. What can I say about this story, and the entirety of Goodwin/Simonson's Manhunter, that already hasn't been said? I'll just say this about Simonson's art: since this was pretty much his first major art job of note, he pretty much hit the ground running and has never skipped a beat since.
    Anyway, nice way to close the old year and usher in the new. Hope you have a great New Year, Groove!

  4. Certainly one of my all-time favorite Batman stories in terms of both script and that amazingly stylish artwork.

  5. Not much more to say, but one of the best short series ever. Perfect writing, perfect art. I also loved Simonsons Batman.


    Thank you,Mr Groove!
    /Mr Anonymous

  7. Thanks for posting this! I had this book when I was 11, and it played a formative role in my life! It's so cool to read it again all these years later!

  8. This series was slightly before my time. My intro to the Goodwin/Simonson Manhunter came in the reprint book Dynamic Classics in '78, which featured the classic Batman story "The Secret of the Waiting Graves" and the first story of the Manhunter series. Thanks to the DC Implosion, there was never a #2 of the book. It took me a few years before I came across a black and white reprint of the Manhunter series, and finally got to read the whole thing. Later there was a color reprint done, as well.



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Special thanks to Mike's Amazing World of Comics and Grand Comics Database for being such fantastic resources for covers, dates, creator info, etc. Thou art treasures true!

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