Created by Marc Andreyko and Jesus Saiz

Manhunter (Kate Spencer).png
Manhunter (Kate Spencer); Art by Stephane Roux.
The Original Universe


Real Name: Kate Spencer
Identity: Secret
Occupation: assistant District Attorney, Los Angeles; freelance lawyer; District Attorney, Gotham City
Citizenship: American
Marital Status: Divorced
Known Relatives: Peter Robinson (ex-husband); Ramsey Robinson (son); Walter Pratt (father, deceased); Lydia Pratt (mother, deceased); Sandra Knight (grandmother), Arn Munro (grandfather)
Base of Operation: Gotham City
Group Affiliation (former): Batman, Inc., Department of Extra-Normal Operations (undercover)
Gender: Female
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Brown
First Appearance: = Manhunter Vol. 3 #1 (October 2004)
Creators: Marc Andreyko and Jesus Saiz


A federal prosecutor with an unhappy family life, Kate Spencer grew increasingly tired of the 'revolving door' of crime. When Copperhead escaped from custody 16 hours after escaping a death sentence in 'her' court, she snapped and appropriated some equipment confiscated from other super-villains, sought out Copperhead and killed him. Calling herself Manhunter and assisted by technical wizard Dylan Battles, she has been fighting injustice for a little over two years, and has been in the employ of the D.E.O. for about half that time.

Her equipment includes a powerful staff once used by a previous Manhunter, Mark Shaw, as well as a suit that is keyed into her unique bioelectrical signature, granting her increased strength, agility and endurance.


Kate Spencer's childhood was not a happy one. Her father, Walter Pratt, killed her mother in front of her, and she was adopted at a very young age, unaware of this early tragedy. When she went to university, she made some unsuccessful attempts to track down her birth family, but eventually gave up on the idea. While studying law, she became good friends with Cameron Chase, a friendship that endures to this day.

While making her mark in the legal profession, Kate met and fell in love with novelist Peter Robinson, who became her husband and the father of her son Ramsey. However, the two drifted apart, largely due to Kate's extreme dedication to her job, dedication which paid off, as she became a noted federal prosecutor in Los Angeles.

However, her job had its frustrations quite apart from the impact on her family. As federal prosecutor, she saw many clearly guilty men and women escape on technicalities, almost always so-called supervillains with many victims. When Copperhead was let off the death sentence she had tried to secure, then escaped 16 hours later and killed his guards, she realised that she had enough. She made her way to the LA evidence lockers and appropriated various items of equipment. Using the suit, gauntlets and staff she had acquired, she tracked down Copperhead and administered the death sentence she believed he deserved.

Kate continued to use this costume in the cause of justice, calling herself Manhunter and enlisting the help of Dylan Battles, a man in witness protection who used to design weapons and equipment for many super-villains. He has upgraded her existing equipment on many occasions and also provided additional items in her arsenal. She made an enemy of Shadow Thief, who originally pursued her to revenge Copperhead's death. While prosecuting him, she also encountered a number of other villains, sent to kill him by the Society, who feared that he would reveal their secrets. In the ensuing battle, Monocle was killed, and a mistrial was declared.

From this point, Kate's life became a lot more complicated when she discovered that the previous bearers of the Manhunter legacy were being killed off one by one. Joining with Mark Shaw, she discovered that the culprit was actually Shaw himself, in his alter ego of Dumas, an alternate identity created by the government to make him a better agent. This case also reunited her with Cameron Chase, and eventually led to Bones of the D.E.O. Offering her employment, a job which she accepted.

Shortly after this, she was reunited with her biological father under terrible circumstances. Dying of blood cancer, he kidnapped her son Ramsey in order to use him as an involuntary bone marrow donor with the help of Doctor Moon, also kidnapping Peter Robinson, who was tortured by Phobia. Ramsey was not a match, and Kate was lured in, though the villains were unprepared for her Manhunter identity. Both Doctor Moon and Pratt (Kate's father) perished in the ensuing confrontation, and the stress caused Kate to miscarry a child she didn't even know she was carrying.

After this, Manhunter found herself fighting alongside a great many other heroes in the battle of Metropolis, battling to save the city from a huge army of super-villains. Over the months that followed, she began to think of herself as a super-hero for the first time. She also set up her own offices along with Damon Matthews and often worked alongside Damon's boyfriend, Obsidian. Her ex-husband remarried and fathered another child, a girl named Violet Elizabeth Robinson, who is now Kate's god-daughter. She has also discovered other family members, as a DNA test revealed that her paternal grandparents were Sandra Knight and Arn Munro. Sandra is particularly pleased to have discovered Kate.

Her work for the D.E.O. has not always been easy, as one of her tasks has been to earn the trust of the supervillain community as a defense attorney. This was achieved spectacularly well when she managed to secure a Not Guilty verdict for Doctor Psycho when he went on trial for atrocities committed during the battle of Metropolis. Although he nearly escaped justice, the diminutive psychopath went on a rampage in the courtroom and battled Kate in her Manhunter identity. She embedded a fragment of an energy blade in his head, effectively shorting out both his powers and his memory. The verdict earned the trust of the meta-criminal population, but she was glad that this didn't allow Psycho to go free.

Recently, she has stepped back from her agreement with the DEO to take the job as District Attorney of Gotham City.


Although it is not entirely clear whether Kate has true super-powers herself, there have been various indications that she may have latent abilities, and it is known that her father's metagene has been passed on to her son. However, she has been undergoing physical training, and her condition has greatly improved since she quit smoking several months ago. Her natural mental abilities are a greater asset, as she is a quick thinker and a fearsome opponent, with skills hones in many courtrooms.

In her fight against injustice, Kate uses a number of weapons. Her suit formerly belonged to an unnamed member of the Darkstars and this augments her physical strength greatly. She wears clawed gauntlets designed by Azrael during his time as Batman, and carries a power staff designed for Mark Shaw. This staff has been keyed into her bioelectric signature, so that it cannot be used to hurt her. She also uses various items of equipment designed by Dylan Battles, including a short-range teleporter.


For a definitive list of appearances of Manhunter in chronological order click here (2004-2011) and here (2011-present)