It’s a great time to be an Arrow-head, with casting announcements continuing to roll in and most every day bringing news of another DCU character coming to television. Hot on the heels of last weeks announcement that Charlotte Ross will join the CW hit as Felicity’s mom comes word that yet another DC hero will join the Atom, Katana, and Wildcat in making their live-action debut in season 3. The Hollywood Reporter has the scoop that Medium star David Cubitt will portray Manhunter in the season’s third episode. “Ah, but which Manhunter?” you ask. Good question.
There have been several characters in comics history to bear the name Manhunter, starting with Policeman Donald “Dan” Richard, a blue-masked character in the vein of Will Eisner’s Spirit, who fought crime alongside his canine companion Thor. (I’m sure this all made perfect sense when he first appeared in 1942’s Police Comics #8.) But the Manunter we’ll meet on Arrow is, according to THR, the second character to bear the name, private investigator Paul Kirk. Kirk began his career in 1942’s Adventure Comics #73 as a non-costumed, non-super-powered champion of justice, then adopted a red-and-blue costume for the remainder of the ’40s. The best stories to feature Kirk’s Manhunter, however, were a series of 1970s short back-up tales in Detective Comics, penned by Archie Goodwin and illustrated by Walt Simonson. The character sported a memorable (if, in hindsight, impractical) samurai-like red-and-white costume and possessed a healing factor and expert martial arts skills. Young fans may be most familiar with Mahunter Kate Spencer, the eighth and so far only female character to bear the name, introduced in 2004. Arrow borrowed the character’s name for Starling City’s district attorney, (SPOILER) killed by Jason Blood at the end of season 2.
The Hollywood Reporter states that “when the character makes his Starling City entrance, he will be an A.R.G.U.S. operative in Corto Maltese who crosses paths with Diggle. In comic lore, Mark has a connection to the Suicide Squad, as do Diggle and Oliver.” Whether Arrow‘s Manhunter will also connect to this season’s hotly anticipated Big Bad, Ra’s al Ghul, remains to be seen. But in any case, with all of these DC heroes stacking up, we’re in for one helluva ride this year.