The Manhunters are a "race" of androids created by the Guardians
of the Universe 3.5 billion years ago. Their creation was in response
to the great evil unleashed by the Guardians' compatriot, Krona. The Manhunters
were designed to be a galactic police force, but over many millennia they
came to resent their mission and their creators. For their impertinence,
the androids were banished to all parts of the universe, where they gradually
reorganized over the ages. They were replaced by the Guardians with living
agents, the Green
Lantern Corps. In 1066, the Manhunters came to Earth, whose sector
yet had no Green Lantern. When a Greeen Lantern finally debuted in the
1940s (Alan Scott, not of the Corps), the Manhunters recruited Dan
Richards to monitor
him. They gave him an android dog, Thor, he took the name
Manhunter (I) and fought crime as
a so-called "mystery
soon afterward, Paul Kirk (Manhunter II) was
similarly recruited. Both were unaware of the Manhunter's plot to take over
the universe. NOTE: 1066
is the year the Normans conquered England.
Richards retired in 1950. Kirk died in 1946 on a hunting safari. His body
was put in suspended animation and later revived by the Council. Upon his
revival, Kirk died saving the world from the Council's evil plans. Eventually,
the Manhunters sought to control the Universe. Their first step was to discredit
the Guardians by making it appear that the Green Lantern hal Jordan had destroyed
an inhabited world. The Manhunters chose their next agent, Mark Shaw (Manhunter III),
to help them. The JLA exposed the Manhunters' plot, and the JLA and Greeen
Lantern Corps defeated many Manhunters on various worlds. Shaw destroyed the
head of Earth's Manhunter branch. (Justice Leauge of America
Shaw fought the JLA twice before realizing his error and "going straight."
During this time, Shaw met Karin Grace (of the Suicide
Squad). They encountered each other soon after her last mission in the Squad
and she too was recruited as a Manhunter agent. Later, when the Manhunters exposed
themselves to the world, Grace realized her error and sacrificed herself while
destroying a Manhunter base.
The Manhunters' next move on Earth was its most ambitious. In response to
the Guardians' plan to ensure their own legacy, the Grandmaster himself traveled
to Earth to activate an army of "sleeper agents." These agents were
charged with the assassination of the Guardians "Chosen" (the New
Guardians). When Some of these
agents — like Grace, Shaw and Marcy Cooper (Harlequin III)
— were human agents. Others near to powerful heroes had been brainwashed
(Doiby Dickles, Lana Lang, James Gordon). Still others had long since been
replaced by android duplicates (Pan, Helga Jace, Rudolf West, Rocket Red
Earth's heroes were mobilized to fight off the Manhunters by the Guardian
Herupa and Zamaron Nadia. They summoned their Green Lanterns and other super-heroes
to help protect the Chosen. (Millennium #1) The Manhunters
succeeded in killing several of the Chosen, but were no match for Earth's heroes.
The Grandmaster managed to slip away from this incident without being
revealed, (#7) but
soon Superman and Hal Jordan
caught up with him and the Grandmaster was destroyed in battle (Superman
The Manhunters retreated back to their
homeworld, the artificial planet Biot. This world lay outside the purview
of the Guardians, in the so-called "Sector 3601." At some point, the Manhunter
Corps was redeveloped by a formidable machine-man from Earth — the
Superman. The Cyborg helped engineered a new breed of Manhunter whose
"brains" were powered by the power batteries of captured Green Lanterns.
These new Manhunters first appeared on Earth, in response to the reactivation
of an old Manhunter in the California. This old android was slated for storage
in a millitary facility, and the new Manhunter ambushed its convoy. (Green
Lantern v3. #1) It killed the military guards before the old Manhunter
managed to escape it's relentless path. In the midst of this
battle, Green Lantern Hal Jordan discovered that the new model used a power
battery in his skull. He used this battery to power his own ring, and drain the
Manhunter, which was destroyed. Afterwards, he discovered that his superiors
in the U.S. military had created a new jet that was reverse engineered from a
Manhunter (recovered from the Louisiana bayou). This was a mere blip in the plans
of the new Grandmaster, who continued to capture and imprison droves of Green
Lanterns on Biot. (#2-3)
Biot lays outside the Guardians'
patrolled space, — known as Sector 3601, the Blackest Night. The Guardians'
attentions were drawn to this sector when their previously-dead
Lantern, Tomar-Tu, appeared on Oa. His trail was traced back to that sector
and Hal and Guy Gardner defied the Guardians by traveling there. On Biot, the
Lanterns quickly realized that Biot was a giant Manhunters factory. These
new models had real blood running through their "veins" and their battery-powered "brains" were capable
of draining a Lantern's ring. At last they also met up with the Cyborg — the
madman behind the destruction of Hal Jordan's home, Coast City! (#11)
Little is known about the history of the group of super-villains calling thesmselves
the Masters of Disaster, other than that they are mercenaries, preferring
to work for a pre-arranged price rather than under their own initiative. and
that each member of the group controls one super-power related in some way to
a natural destructive force. None of these members, save New-Wave, is truly
evil. New-Wave's leadership was rather dictatorial and each member had a different
reason for following her. The are:
New-Wave, the leader of the group, can transform her body into water,
or any of the many forms water can take.
Windfall can control winds, ranging from gentle zephyrs to violent
storms. She and New-Wave are sisters (New-Wave's first name being Becky),
and Windfall witnessed their mother's murder at the hands of New-Wave.
Shakedown was temendously strong, and could generate vibratory forces
that he can either channel through a medium or project toward a desired
target. Shakedown had a crush on Windfall and felt frequently remorse for
his violent actions.
Coldsnap is a human freezer unit, capable of genereabing sub-zero
temperatures and great quantities of ice. His normal body heat is conderably
lower than the average.
Heatstroke can generate extremely high temperatures, as well as
controlled bursts of flame. Her normal body heat is considerably above the
average. Coldsnap and Heatstroke are lovers (their respective first names
being Darrel and Joanne), and their only motivation for joining the Masters
was to amass enough money to find a cure for their conditions, which make
it impossible for them to even touch.
Originally, they were hired by the mother of Trina Shelton. Shelton had accidentally
died during one of Black Lightning's battles. Her mother hired the Masters
to kill Lightning. He was so wracked with guilt that Black Lightning surrendered
to the Masters. (Batman & the Outsiders #8-9) They
escaped after this job turned sour but soon took another job: kidnapping Sapphire
Stagg on her wedding day. Again, they escaped. (BatO Annual #2)
Next, they allied with Baron Bedlam to overthrow Markovia. When the Outsiders
arrive in Markovia, they were captured by the Masters. Bedlam's master plan
was to revive a clone of Adolf Hitler. The Outsiders were freed by their newest
member, Looker, who single-handedly defeated the Masters. Following this, Windfall
finally reached the end of her rope and defected from the Masters. (Adv.
of the Outsiders #32-34) She wandered Markovia for a time and was captured
and exposed as one of Bedlam's former mercenaries. (Outsiders
v.1 #14) Soon, however, she was recaptured by her teammates and cloned as well.
When the Masters of Disaster escaped from Markovia, they sent the Windfall
clone to infiltrate the Outsiders. They accepted her as a full-fledged member.
(#19) Batman was wise to this, however, and the Masters
were trapped. The clone was killed in a battle between she and her predecessor.
The original Windfall then joined the Outsiders. (#20)
The Masters were out of commission for a while, imprisoned in the Slab. When
Geo-Force was wrongly arrested, he too was put in the Slab, inspiring the Masters
to engineer a jailbreak. They and Geo-Force escaped but did not clash that day.
(Outsiders v.2 #9)
Tthrough some bizarre mishap, Coldsnap and Heatstroke, were combined into
one being. Batman and Aztek brought down the berserk he-she beast and sent
them to Gotham's branch of the Wayne Foundation labs to find a way to undoing
this merger. (Aztek #7)
New Wave resurfaced again after having apparently killed Shakedown. She
was tracked by the teamwork of Batman and the Justice Society. (JSA
#31) However, Shakedown was seen twice after this, alongside all his
#817-818, Adv. of Superman #624)
FIRST APPEARANCE: Batman & the Outsiders #9 (New-Wave in #8)
Batman & the Outsiders #8-10, Annual #2 Adventures
of the Outsiders #32-34 Outsiders v.1 #19-20 Outsiders
v.2 #9 JSA #31
Created by Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuiness
The Maximums were a completely fabricated team of heroes who were brought
into existence by the power of the 5th Dimension. This team and its world were
merely pawns in an insane game of chess between Mr. Myxzptlk and the Joker (who
possessed the power of another 5th dimension imp, the Bat-Mite).
Myxzptlk and the Joker created the Maximums’ home dimension in its entirety.
This world was first visited by Superman and Batman when the world’s
finest pair were under the influence of the Legion
of Super-Villains. While “evil,” Superman and Batman killed
one of the Maximums’ members, Skyscraper, in retaliation for Lois
Lane's death. After this, they were nearly brought down by the Maximums' Viking,
but they managed to teleport away using a Boom Tube. The evil Batman and Superman
disappeared, and their timeline was soon restored to normal.
in the Maximums' world, the effects of their nefarious actions still stood,
and Skyscraper’s teammates sought revenge. To add fuel to the flame,
Myxzptlk, posed as a deceased member of the Maximums, the Bowman, and
appeared at Skyscraper's funeral. He claimed he could help them avenge the
death. (Superman/Batman #20)
Myxzptlk helped the Maximums find their way to Superman
and Batman’s Earth, where the heroes believed these strangers to be
from Apokolips. With their combined might, the Maximums the defeated them
and took them back to their world. (#21)
Superman and Batman soon escaped and were engaged once again by Viking, but
in the midst of this, Superman saved a girl named Kristen, The Bug’s
girlfriend, from falling to her death from a bridge. This act made Robot postulate
that Superman and Batman were not guilty of killing Skyscraper. (#22) Superman
convinced Robot to side with him. (#23)
As the Bowman, Myxzptlk continued to manipulate the Maximums, but they became
suspicious. (#23) During this time, the Maximums were
not the only special pawns created by Mxy and the Joker. For their endgame,
the Bowman (finally revealed as Myxzptlk), granted the Maximums their wish:
to confront Superman and Batman. Joker brought all the Maximums back to life
just as Superman and Batman appeared with their allies. (#24)
In the grand final battle, Myxzptlk and the Joker summoned armies of champions,
both real and fake, to do battle. According to their agreement, if Joker won,
he would acquire all of Myxzptlk's power. If Myxzptlk won, the Joker would
release Bat-Mite. During the battle, the Joker merged the Maximums into one Maximum
Maximum. Then a stray beam from a Phantom Zone projector struck the Joker
instead and freed Bat-Mite. Apparently, only a magical device created by the
Joker could cut through his own magic to free the Mite. With their chess game
completed, the Maximums were unceremoniously erased from existence. (#25)
The Maximums were:
Soldier (Captain America)
Hornet (Jaime, Wasp), who was married to...
Skyscraper (Harvey, Giant Man), who was killed by Superman.
Robot (Iron Man), who was an actual
Viking (Thor). Viking's axe was capable of cutting
Monster (Becky, Hulk). Monster reverted to a small
girl named Becky.
Bowman (Hawkeye), who was Mxyzptlk in disguise.
Bug (Spider-Man) (#22)
This group was plainly modeled after the Ultimate
Avengers. The Maximums were also seen battling another rival group called the Axis
of Evil: Rapier (a former Maximum), Godiva, Demise and Annihilate. (#25)
The "audience" in Superman/Batman #25 is also populated
by skeletal Marvel characters.
This story arc established Bat-Mite to the mainstream as a 5th
dimensional imp. The Bat-Mite may
have made his first in-continuity appearance in Batman: Legends of
the Dark Knight #38 (October
1992). His LotDK appearance could also be interpreted
as a hallucination. The Superman/Batman story suggested that he'd
been trapped inside the Joker since before the first Crisis (Myxzptlk recalls
pre-Crisis times). Bat-Mite first appeared in pre-Crisis times in Detective
It was also the first appearance of the new Batzarro.
(#20) Like the Maximums, however, Batzarro was a magical creation.
FIRST APPEARANCE: Superman/Batman #20 (June 2005)