Detective Comics No. 443 Alternate Cover by Walt Simonson

April 2, 2022|In Comics, DC

I was just a few years too young to get comics regularly when Manhunter was the back-up feature in Detective Comics Nos. 437–443. Written by Archie Goodwin and drawn by Walt Simonson, it combined pulp high-adventure themes with espionage and thriller elements. With Goodwin’s tight, evocative prose and Simonson’s groundbreaking storytelling techniques, Manhunter always punched way above its weight as an eight-page back-up in the Batman comic that consistently sold the least copies.

So much so that when I began collecting seriously at the end of the 70s, Manhunter was still on people’s tongues. DC reprinted the story in a baxter volume during this period, and again in a deluxe edition a few years later with a story Goodwin had plotted but never dialogued before his passing. Suitably, Simonson illustrated it and the story carried no dialogue or captions.

I came across this post’s illustration on Twitter, posted by Simonson. Said Simonson:

“Manhunter’s Last Stand. With Batman and Dan Kingdom. Pen and ink. 14×17. 2009.

“This was my idea of what I might have done for a cover in the old days for the last issue of Detective Comics in which Manhunter appeared.”

Sounded like a great idea to me. Colour and packaging by myself.

Detective Comics 443 published by DC Comics

The published cover by Jim Aparo.

Manhunter illustration by Walt Simonson

Walt Simonson’s art from 2009.

PRoduction art by Scott Dutton

Art extended at the top to fit the cover format.

Comic book coloring by Scott Dutton


Comic book design and packaging by Scott Dutton

100-page version with re-created trade dress added.

Comic book design and packaging by Scott Dutton

Regular-sized comic version with re-created trade dress added.


Wonder Comic Monthly 125 published by Planet Comics

Wonder Comic Monthly No. 125 published by Planet Comics in Australia.


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