Sunday, May 8, 2011

Golden Age Heroes - Manhunter & Thor

Today I'm featuring another Quality Comics superhero who calls himself the Manhunter. He fights crime alongside his faithful dog Thor (are any of these dogs ever unfaithful? and should I even be asking?). Manhunter first pops up in the pages of Police Comics #8 in 1942 and ran through #101 in 1950 so he had one heck of a run. Starting life as rookie cop Dan Richards, he becomes disgruntled with the way criminals are getting off the hook by manipulating the legal system so, like a number of other characters I've featured here, he decides to take the law into his own hands. Rather than opening his own private detective agency or such, Dan decides to put on a colorful costume and turn into a masked vigilante in his spare time. Yada, yada, yada. Heard all this before. Of course the costume as presented here isn't really that colorful but it did appear to change over the course of the character's run, sometimes bare-legged and sometimes with a big yellow ball on his chest - not sure what that was all about. The Manhunter is aided by Thor the Thunder-Dog, who always seems to be hanging around whenever Dan is in his police duds, but then shows up when he changes to the Manhunter fighting togs. I think later Dan gets a dog whistle to summon Thor. I have only seen two of the actual stories and both are fairly routine cops and robbers sorts of tales. But you know, any excuse to exercise a bit of vigilante justice, eh?? The character was later revived by DC, although they had their own Manhunter character that morphed quite a bit over time. The Manhunter action figure was made using a Toy Biz Superman body and arms and the head and legs from a Toy Biz Green Lantern. As for Thor, I've seen several pics of the dog and he appears to change breeds, probably depending on the artist. Maybe it's just a mutt, which is also fine. I happened to have a small dog in my "dogs & cats" box and found one that looked to be growling and poised to strike, which seemed to fit Thor pretty well. Had to paint it though.

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