Mark Shaw was a public defender who was frustrated in his attempts to gain justice for the poor and weak. Impressed by Mark's fervour for justice, his uncle Bradford, an archaeologist, told him about the Manhunters, who he said were members of a centuries old organization of incorruptible crimefighters. Speaking through a Manhunter lion medallion, Mark contacted the Grand Master, head of Earth's Manhunters.
The next night, Earth's Manhunter Prime took Mark Shaw to the Manhunters base in the Himalayas. There, Shaw was given intensive training in combat and a Manhunter costume.
Mark Shaw fist appeared in DC 1st Issue Special #5 as the third Manhunter. He would later assume the identity of the Privateer in Justice League of America vol 1 #143.
Major Story Arcs
As time passed, Shaw's costume came to affect his mind whenever he wore it so that he would obey his superiors in everything. Unknown to Shaw, the original Manhunters, including the Grand Master, were robots created by the Guardians of the Universe that had rebelled against the Guardians. Later, the robots recruited living beings to act as Manhunters.
The Manhunters now launched their plan to discredit the Guardians in order to take over the universe. Shaw battled members of the Justice League of America for the Manhunters, but Shaw realized that he had been decieved by the Manhunters. The JLA thwarted their conspiracy against the Guardians, and Shaw destroyed the robotic Grand Master.
But Shaw soon realized he did not want to give up the lust for power he had developed as the Manhunter. He became a criminal calling himself the Star Tsar, and teamed up with the Key for a re-match with the Justice League. Shaw later pretended to be an ally of the JLA as the swashbuckling Privateer, secretly intending to destroy them. As the Star Tsar, he launched a major extortion scheme against the US government, but the Red Tornado exposed his plans and the JLA sent him to jail.
The Manhunters Return
A few years later, the Manhunters returned in another plot to dominate the universe starting with Earth. The super-heroes of Earth and the Green Lantern Corps joined together to oppose the Manhunters in this war that became known as Millennium. Shaw, as the Privateer, was released from prison and into the custody of the Suicide Squad to join a covert mission to destroy a Manhunter base. The Privateer would get a full pardon for his crimes and would be able to leave a free man upon completion of the mission. The Suicide Squad completed the mission and escaped from the base. The Privateer walked away a free man and the Manhunters were defeated on their home planet.
In the aftermath of Millennium, the Privateer returned to being the Manhunter in an updated costume and updated weaponry. The Manhunter became a bounty hunter and fought super-villains for the money. During this period, the Manhunter encountered an opponent called Dumas whom he killed in battle. The Manhunter eventually resigned from crimefighting again after fighting another opponent called Dumas. The Manhunter later suffered a nervous breakdrown and assumed the identity of Dumas. He became a deranged killer and murdered the other Manhunters known as Dan Richards, Chase Lawler and Kirk DePaul (a clone of Paul Kirk). He is taken in by and becomes friends with the current Manhunter and her allies Dylan Battles and Cameron Chase.
Recently Shaw was approached to take the mantle of Azrael, though it has been unrevealed if he will accept this identity. Michael Lane has accepted the role of Azrael since that event.
Powers and Abilities
During his time as a Manhunter, Shaw underwent extensive training in hand-to-hand combat, he learned a multitude of different martial arts and fighting styles. He was also taught how to track people and animals across various different terrains. He owns a mask that allows him various improvements on his sight as well as sophisticated scanners. His power baton is modified with attachments such as a blade, a grappling hook, a magnetic pulse emitter and a sonic maser which produces a similar sound to Black Canary's sonic scream. His costume has heavy padding to protect him during combat.