Published on January 23rd, 2013 | by Andrew Porwitzky0
“Eerie Presents Hunter” is amazing, but quite rapey.
Disclaimer: This article reviews a book that contains graphic visual depictions of rape. Some examples of which are featured in the review. You have been warned.
I really loved the first 50% of this book, the next 40% was alright, with the last 10% being crap. That’s not actually as bad as it sounds because there are three (though really only two) complete stories in this book. The first is Hunter, followed by Hunter II, and finally (wait for it…) Hunter III. Original Recipe Hunter is amazing. Hunter II has some appeal, and Hunter III should not even be included in this collection.
Seems like in recent years Dark Horse has come to the realization that having the license to reprint every issue of Creepy and Eerie (among other Warren Comics magazines) is great and there are tons of people that will buy every volume of the “*** Archives” they release, but if they actually make themed collections then they can sell those to people that don’t really feel the need to buy 10+ hardcover collections of Eerie comics. A prime example of this is “Creepy Presents Bernie Wrightson“, which I was lucky enough to get him to sign at Baltimore Comic-Con (yay!). Now they seem to be adding to their slowly growing collection of artist themed books with story collections. The first release is Hunter.
Some of you may know I have a great love of 2000AD, both old school and modern. When I read the premise for Hunter it sounded straight out of 2000AD: Half man, half mutant hunter of mutants in a post-apocalyptic future. Bam, I’m in. Add to this the fact that it appeared in Eerie back in the early 1970’s when Warren Publishing was giving the Comics Code Authority the middle finger just added to my interest. I have a love of the Warren Publishing stuff as a showcase of what American comics could have been without the CCA. So how is Hunter?
Amazing!!! But also quite rapey.
In all honesty, this is the rapey-est book I’ve ever read. Especially the Original Recipe Hunter stories. Every other issue people gettin’ raped. Hide your kids, hide your wife!!!
Don’t think I’m blowing this out of proportion. The first time rape was mentioned was to explain that Hunter’s mother was raped by a mutant general which lead to Hunter’s conception. Makes sense from a storytelling perspective. I actually really liked that from a character standpoint. Then other women get raped. Then a whole town of women get raped. Pretty sure some kids got raped somewhere in there. MUTANTS ARE HORNY BASTARDS.
I recently read “Batman: The Killing Joke” and was confused by the scene where (apparently) the Joker rapes Barbara Gordon. All I got from the comic was that he stripped her naked, as they don’t show anything that actually indicates to me that she was raped. Some of my comic book reading friends swear that’s what happened though. Anyway, you don’t have that confusion with Hunter. Not only are you told explicitly people are getting raped, you get to see an insane amount of it.
I mean Jesus. It gets worse though.
Here’s the thing though, this isn’t some weird fetish book. These stories were serialized in a comic magazine back when publishers couldn’t rely on readers getting every issue. So if rape is mentioned a lot in this collection it’s because it was mentioned in every other issue of the monthly comic. If they didn’t many readers wouldn’t know that the mutants (called demons in the story) are of the rape persuasion. You have to keep that in mind when reading this book.
At its heart Hunter is a story about vengeance and hate. Hate not only for a man (or, lets say race) that committed unspeakable crimes against the one woman that ever loved you, but also having that hate directed at yourself because you are the offspring of that man (and thus that race). If you enjoy dark science fiction or a good vengeance based action movie, then you’ll probably enjoy Hunter as much as I did, which is to say “a lot.” Also, I thought the art and composition was really great in many of these stories. My favorite part is this particularly clever rendering of getting knocked unconscious.
Moving on to the second half of the collection we have Hunter II. This character came from a desire to have more Hunter stories after the completion of the original Hunter storyline. Hunter II is set some years after the Original Recipe Hunter stories and stars a normal guy who hates him some Goblins, which are kind of like mutant Frankenstein monster things… its not entirely clear. They do have mohawks though. And there’s a robot. Its weird.
Hunter II is almost beyond hope as a story except that the art is still decent and the character has an interesting twist. Hunter II is wronged, and he gets charged with becoming “The New Hunter” and taking the fight to Mordor to kill the sorcerer making these goblins. Thing is, he doesn’t know anything about fighting! He’s absolute SHIT at it! But he meets a robot who is basically The Terminator on tank treads and he keeps Hunter II’s sorry ass alive. Hunter II does have a really good ending that completely caught me off guard, so it gets points for cleverness in the end.
There is a Hunter III story, which I refuse to discuss. Its basically a parody. Its bad.
Here’s where I’m conflicted about this collection. Eerie #69 was an original reprinting of all the Original Recipe Hunter stories. I can get a copy of that on eBay for about what this hard cover costs, if not less. Granted, I wouldn’t know about Hunter without this collection existing. I think I’d rather own that issue of Eerie though. Just some food for thought.
All in all, “Eerie Presents Hunter” is an enjoyable dark scifi comic from the Warren Publishing era. If you’re into that time of ultra-action-violence in comics history you’ll love it, but maybe consider just getting a copy of Eerie #69 to add to your collection.