Friday, February 8, 2013

Making a Splash: Goodwin and Simonson's Manhunter

Hey, hey, hey, Groove-ophiles! It's February! The month of Valentine's Day--the month of LOVE (or LUV as some called it back during the Groovy Age). Gonna kick February off with something Ol' Groove dearly loves--Archie Goodwin and Walt Simonson's magnificent Manhunter series from the pages of Detective Comics 437-443 (July 1973-July 1974)! (Just check the Stream of Comicbook Consciousness, baby, you'll find lots'a Manhunter posts here on the Diversions!) Today we're gonna look at wild-n-wooly Walt's smashing splashes. Note that these aren't traditional splash pages with one huge panel filled with awesome; Archie and Walt only had eight pages to play with, so they had to make the most of their real estate, dig? So Mr. Simonson came up with some of the most innovative page one layouts this side of Will Eisner. See why Ol' Groove loves that series so?
Yeah, that's The Batman for the 'Tec #443 splash, since he teamed up with Manhunter for the series' finale!

Oh, and just 'cause Ol' Groove loves ya, baby, here's Walt's art for the contents page of 'Tec 443 aaaand his pulsating pin-ups from that self-same ish!


  1. Oh, yeah, that's the stuff, Groove. This is such a perfect series - fantastic storytelling and art that is good at so many levels, i.e., it's just beautiful to look at, but you can also appreciate the amazing figure work and backgrounds and the outstanding panel designs and layout. Truly masterful. In fact, I bet Manhunter could actually spark a heated argument between us: an argument over just who loves this story more...

  2. a perfect series, a perfect run on "Detective". I've never enjoyed Walt's work more; both Archie and he were at the top of their game.

  3. Didn't they do one more Manhunter story together? If I recall correctly, Archie died before the script was finished, so the final installment was all done pantomime which, amazingly, worked well.

    Chris A.

  4. Thanks Groove.
    I'll have to pull my collection of this off the shelf and give it another read.
    Here in OZ the first time I saw these they were in glorious black and white, published by a local liscensee.
    DC are probably due to republish this in a nice oversize hardcover.
    I hope.

  5. Chris A.: yes, it's included in the collected trade.

  6. Simonson worked on 2 of my favorites back in the day - Manhunter & Hercules Unbound! Please let's see Hercules Unbound - Garcia Lopez - Wally Wood - Walt Simonson!



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