This page is for the several human characters who had used the name Manhunter.
For the robotic peacekeepers created by the Guardians, see Manhunters.
Manhunter is a name taken by several crime fighters over the years.
Manhunter created by Tex Blaisdell and Alex Kotzky. DC Comics acquired the character Dan Richards (Manhunter) from Quality Comics.
Dan Richards was the first costumed hero known as the Manhunter. Dan Richards became the Manhunter to prove a close friend innocent who had been framed for murder. He had a dog named Thor (or Thunderdog) as a partner. Richards was a member of the All-Star Squadron for a brief time, then joined the Freedom Fighters. Thor was a robotic protector used as a spy by the Manhunter cult. Shaw killed the original Manhunter under the Manhunter cult. He is survived by his granddaughter, Marcie Cooper, the third Harlequin.
The second Manhunter who originally name Rick Nelson was quickly changed to Paul Kirk, who was a big game hunter who decided to devote his skills to crimefighting. He first became the Manhunter when his good friend, Police Inspector Donovan, was murdered by a criminal called the Buzzard. Kirk was a member of the All-Star Squadron.
Paul Kirk II (resurrected)
Paul Kirk had been killed by an elephant on safari in the 1940s, but his body had been cryogenically preserved and eventually resurrected by the Council, a secret society dedicated to controlling the world. After his return from death, Kirk was given a healing factor devised by a geneticist-member of the Council (it was later retconned that the healing factor was due to nanobots injected into him (Detective Comics 439) and was trained extensively in the martial arts by Asano Nitobe. He was also the genetic source for many clones, which the Council intended to use as their paramilitary arm, with the original Paul Kirk as their leader.
Paul Kirk III (clone)
Another clone of Paul Kirk who survived, he claimed the Manhunter identity and wearing Paul Kirk's Council-created uniform. He was a founding member of the Secret Society of Super Villains. He died at the hands of Darkseid.
Mark Shaw was a public defender who joined the ancient sect of Manhunters to properly dispense justice to criminals. After discovering that the Manhunters had deceived him for their own purposes, Shaw later became known as the Privateer in Justice League of America . He also used an alias called the Star-Tsar. When Shaw returned to being the Manhunter, he killed his shape-shifting enemy named Dumas. He later had a nervous breakdown and took on this Dumas persona. While using this persona he killed Dan Richards, Chase Lawler and Kirk Depaul. He had been approached by the Order of Saint Dumas to take over the mantle of Azrael. Michael Lane became Azrael after that event.
New 52 Mark Shaw is a U.S. Marshal
A musician who summoned the Wild Huntsman to save himself and his girlfriend from harm. Chase Lawler was later killed by Shaw under the Dumas personality.
The last surviving clone of Paul Kirk, he was a member of the Power Company. Kirk DePaul was murdered by Mark Shaw, who was under the Dumas persona when he killed Depaul.
Kate Spencer was a federal prosecutor who quickly tired of guilty criminals evading punishment. Angered that the super villain Copperhead escaped from custody after killing two prison guards, she stole equipment from an evidence room, hunted him down and killed him. She then blackmailed a former criminal, now in the Witness Protection Program, to build and maintain her weapons and armor. As a divorced mother of a young boy, she found it difficult to balance both life as Manhunter and her career and family life. However, during DC’s Infinite Crisis series, Barbara Gordon (aka Oracle) offered Kate a chance to join the fight in Metropolis with her team, the Birds of Prey. Kate's first appearance as a team member came in issue #100, along with Big Barda, leader of the Female Furies. While Kate is not imbued with super powers, her suit keys in to her bio-electrical signature, supplying her with increased strength, agility and endurance. Her staff was once carried by the Manhunter Mark Shaw.
Powers and Abilities
Though Kate has no innate superhuman powers, she has proven to be a skilled fighter. She uses three main weapons. These are the same items that she stole from the evidence room to attack Copperhead.
- Darkstar's Exo-Mantle - The suit comes from a member of the Darkstars who died in battle and fell to Earth to rot. A drifter found it and used it to defend himself against a group of attackers. Successfully defeating them, he robbed them and left the suit in a dumpster. The Controllers apparently programmed an instinctive hatred of Reach Scarabs into the suits, including the one currently worn by Kate Spencer. Her suit reacts adversely to the scarab currently bonded to Blue Beetle Jaime Reyes. These suits of armor ,called "exo-mantles", grant the wearer incredible power. These powers include superhuman strength, speed, and agility, a personal force-field, flight, twin laser units, and a laser cannon.
- Azrael's Gauntlets - A small-time crook found the gauntlets, originally worn by Azrael during his stint as Batman, in Gotham City. The crook used them in an unsuccessful burglary, but when the police arrived, the crook fell to his death, leaving the gauntlets still dug into the side of the building. These gauntlets are clawed, and may or may not conceal two retractable daggers that completed Azrael's original costume.
- Manhunter's Staff - Mark Shaw as Manhunter was armed with a battle staff or power baton. It was a power cell of alien origin with various power attachments. Those most used by Shaw were the taser and a magnetic pulse weapon. he used the magnetic pulse as both a weapon to repel and attract metal. he also used it to move to rooftops by repelling himself and attracting himself to metal. It extended to a full length battle staff that he sometimes used as a pole vault when the power source was used up and recharging ( it was self recharging). It also had a blade that extended at one end and fired a line. The only other "attachment" shown during his run was a sonic blast. After an attack on Eclipso, several heroes died; among them was a man programmed to believe that he was Mark Shaw. The staff was recovered with the body and hidden in storage. Kate uses Mark Shaw's power staff to fire bolts of energy. The staff is also incredibly durable, if not indestructible.