Thursday, January 04, 2007

Scheherazade and the 1,001 Comics (Manhunter #27, Cover Date Mar. 2007)


Main Heroes: Kate Spencer, Wonder Woman, Cameron Chase, Dylan, Mark Shaw
Minor Heroes: Sasha Bordeaux

Major Villain: Dr. Trapp


Wonder Woman and Kate Spencer are sitting in at Wonder Woman's grand jury testimony (which is, despite the explanation in the book, completely not going to happen). The two rattle the prosecutors and the judge, and otherwise show that the writer has been been a part of a grand jury. It is also unclear why the grand jury is meeting in Los Angeles, as no part of the alleged crime happened there other than its the location of the defendant's lawyer.

Sasha Bourdeax is watching TV footage of the hearings, and notes that the video of the killing of Max Lord has been doctored. She orders a Checkmate company jet and flies off to Los Angeles.

Chase almost kills Dylan, and then goes into a lengthy flashback about the time she was kidnapped by Dr. Trapp, and helped in her own rescue while her father the Acro-Bat and the rest of the Justice Experience tried to save her.

Mark Shaw has been captured in the Himalayas. He escapes momentarily, but as he runs away, comes face to face with a knight who welcomes him to the Order of Saint Dumas.

Finally, Wonder Woman and Kate face the press after a day of grand jury testimony, when the proceeding is interrupted when what appears to be Ted Kord dressed as the Blue Beetle emerges from his Beetle-Plane.


In the story of Scheherazade, a woman, under threat of execution by her evil husband, is forced to a story every night -- ending each story with a cliffhanger so that the evil King Shahryar would let her stay alive for another night. By analogy, a comic book writer, under threat of cancellation, is here forced to layer plot point over plot point in a vain attempt that his comic book will not be executed if everyone is waiting on the edge of their seat for the next issue. . .

Or something like that.

Here's what we've got so far:

1. In issue #25 Iron Monroe -- now believed to be Kate Spencer's grandfather -- barges into Director Bones's office, demanding to talk to him about Kate. There has been no discussion of the Kate's-ancestry plotline in issues #26 or #27. Also dropping off is any discussion of Kate's personal life -- ex-husband, son, etc.

2. Mark Shaw -- the former Manhunter -- is trekking through the Himalayas based on a vision. (He was en route on a boat in #25). This might be starting to go somewhere by the end of #27, but we're getting minimal clues so far. Those clues, however, raise almost an entirely new plotline, since the Knights of Saint Dumas (creator of Azrael from the Batman comics) were supposed to have been destroyed. Left unaddressed is what, exactly, Shaw had a picture of in #26 that made the native woman scream and flee.

3. Cameron Chase 's sister is being held hostage by the evil Dr. Trapp. She has fled to Gotham to save her. There was minimal development on this issue in #27, except for some back-story and the fact that now Dylan is helping her.

4. Sasha Bordeaux notes that the video of Wonder Woman being aired is a fake. Why is no one noticing this until now?

5. A shadowy figure in Washington at the end of #26 punches out a window, and asks why he does kill Wonder Woman like she killed Max Lord. Who is this shadowy figure, and who is he with?

6. Wonder Woman's actual grand jury issues. Will the grand jury hand down an indictment? What are the prosecutor's motives here?

7. Ted Kord???

So, that's seven distinct plotlines weaving around here (some of which have subplots). I was excited at the end of #26 that there were all these intriguing possibilities to work through over the next 4 issues. Now, I feel, we've got far too many plot points to ever be dealt with in just 3 issues, especially since most of them haven't even gotten past the point of background and foundation-laying.

This is now TWO issues in which nobody has gotten into costume and fought a bad guy. How long will evil King DC allow Queen Willingham to keep leaving cliffhangers to be picked up with the following issue? I'm guessin they won't be as gullible as to King Shahryar.

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Blogger SallyP said...

But...but it has Ted in it! Maybe.

12:15 PM  
Blogger Ragtime said...

I think this fact is outweighed by the fact that he's on the cover, and that you don't learn any more information inside than you did from the cover.

Ted is great. There are now only 66 pages left to figure out if its really him, and unravel all the other unrelated plot points. I'm guessing we're going to get very rushed very quickly.

1:50 PM  

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