Manhunter VII

Created by Marc Andreyko & Javier Pina

NAME + ALIASES:
Katherine Spencer

KNOWN RELATIVES:
Ramsey Robinson (son), Peter Robinson (ex-husband), Walter Pratt (father, deceased), Lydia Spencer (mother, deceased), Sandra Knight (Phantom Lady I, grandmother), Arnold "Iron" Munro (grandfather), Ted Knight (Starman I, great uncle, deceased), Jack Knight (Starman VII, third cousin)

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
The Department of Extranormal Operations, Birds of Prey, Justice Society of America

FIRST APPEARANCE:
Manhunter v.3 #1 (Oct. 2004)

History

Kate meets her grandmother, the original Phantom Lady. From Manhunter v.3 #23 (2006); art by Javier Pina and Diego Olmos.

(#1)

Kate dreams that she takes a brow beating from Batman. She forgets that it's her weekend to take her son, Ramsey. Her ex, Peter Robinson, threatens to sue for sole custody. She takes Ramsey out to dinner, where she recognizes the busboy, Dylan Battles , but can't place him. Back home, Ramsey finds her power staff. He accidentally sets off a huge blast in her apartment. Outside St. Roch, Carl Sands battles santity against his Shadow Thief powers. He learns of his friend Copperhead's death and heads to L.A. (#2)

Ramsey suffers broken ribs, a collapsed lung and severe brain swelling, which requires surgery. At the hospital, a nurse tips off a tabloid reporter to Kate's tragedy. Peter accuses Kate of carelessness. Shadow Thief tracks down Manhunter and puts her over a ledge. She falls several stories onto a sign; her armor prevents her back from breaking. The Theif escapes. (#3 12 2004

Kate pays a visit to Dylan Battles (aka Rich XX), the man she'd seen in the restaurant. He'd testified against super-villains and entered witness protection. He spent many years as a super-villain's henchman and inventor. He now has a wife, Linda, and a son. She blackmails him into helping her with her newfound suit and staff. When he returns home, his wife leaves him, thinking that he is having an affair with Kate. He calls Kate back and accepts her offer to help. Kate receives news that Shadow Thief killed Firestorm. (#4 01 2005

Identity Crisis tie-in. Dylan rigs up a training set for Kate with robot villains. He finds that her suit links into the wearer's nervous system, creating heightened reflexes, strength and psi-shielding. He also keys it to trace the Shadow Theif. When she visits the hospital, she's too late to see her son and her ex has an order to keep her away from him. She's paid a visit by the JLA, as a courtesy while they are in L.A. investigating Firestorm's death. J'onn J'onzz asks what she knows about the Manhunter. Later, Manhunter finds him first, then the JLA finish him and take him into custody. She vows to convict him if she can't kill him. (#5 02 2005
Kate appears on television to talk about the new case. She implies she'd like his help to capture others. This alerts the Calculator and the Society, who decide to send Shrapnel to kill him. Sands meets Joshua Logan, his defender. After the show, Kate receives a call from her estranged father (who murdered her mother). Kate subpoena's the JLA for the trial. Ramsey recovers at home. As Manhunter, she engages Shrapnel and manages to fuse his entire form with electricity. (#6 03 2005
At trial, Hawkman is called and testifies that he'd warned Sands that the Thanagarian shadow belt could cause ill effects. The defender discredits him by bringing up recent charges when Hawkman was arrested in St. Roch after being framed for serial murders. Superman is asked his legal identity, which he refuses to disclose. In Lake Placid, New York, Dan Richards, the first Manhunter is murdered by Mark Shaw, another Manhunter. The tabloid reporter, Shoemaker, gains access to kate's apartment and collects a sample of ash. Kate barely escapes a car bomb, and Cheshire arrives to kill Sands. (#7 04 2005
Kate stops Cheshire from killing the Shadow Thief, but she's poisoned with black mamba venom in the fight. She gets help from Dylan who administers antivenom he once stole from Kobra. He also discovers that Kate's brush with Copperhead has served as a sort of innoculation to poison. A policeman finds the dead body of Dan Richards. In court, kate calls Felicity Smoake-Raymond, Firestorm's step-mother. She reveals that Firestorm was Raymond and Stein together. She also calls his father, who sways the jury. Merlyn and Monocle are joined by Phobia to kill the Shadow Thief. (#8 05 2005
Kate unwittingly encounters Phobia in the courthouse, then the assassins attack. Several civilians are killed but Kate killls the Monocle in return. During the battle, she also slips and reveals her identity. Merlyn releases the Shadow Thief, whose power rises up again. Phobia makes Firehawk reveal her secret identity in the melee. In Brentwood, Kate's father visits her son, Ramsey in a park with his father. In Chicago, Chase Lawler is visited in a bar by Mark Shaw in disguise; Shaw poisons him. (#9 06 2005
Manhunted part 1. Shadow Thief's power goes out of control and he subdues Merlyn and Manhunter. Kate tricks him long enough for Firehawk (who'd been at the trial as Lorriane Reilly) to finish him off with a nuclear blast, which sends him into shock. The judge rules a mistrial. Chase Lawler awakes in an abandoned building and is murdered by (seemingly) his old nemesis, Dumas (actually Mark Shaw). Kate's ex calls to ask her on a date. The Calculator sends another hitman, but decides not to kill Sands. In Las Vegas, Mark Shaw returns to his hotel room to find a note Lawler's body and "you're next" in blood on the wall. (#10 07 2005
Manhunted part 2. Lawler's body is found in the dessert and identified by the DEO's Agent Harold. Mark Shaw heads for L.A. to warn her against the killer. He also tried to help Kirk DePaul, but DePaul refused. He also sloughs off a warning call from the DEO (which is the killer in disguise). The killer shoots his date later that night. He pursues and discovers that it is Dumas. But he knocks of Dumas' mask and is surprised to see a familiar face. Dumas kills DePaul. The tabloid reporter follows Kate to a diner and collects a DNA sample. The DEO flies in Agent Chase, who wants to talk to Kate. Kate's father again watches over his grandson, suggesting that he has a 'use' for the boy. (#11 08 2005
Manhunted part 3. Josiah Power identifies DePaul's remains for Chase. Kate visits Dylan's work shed. He discovers a seemingly defunct homing device in her staff. Shoemaker spots them together. Shaw has delusions that he's fighting android Manhunters. Chase visits Kate; they worked together in the past. Chase alerts her to the Manhunter murders and they get a call that Mark Shaw's been arrested. Kate finds a staff like hers in Shaw's bag. As Chase learns that DNA links Shaw to Lawler's murder, Shaw kidnaps Kate and blasts his way out. Peter meets Kate's father (name revealed as Walt) while doing a book signing. (#12 09 2005
Chase visits Dylan; she knows KateÕs secret ID. He hacks them into the governmentÕs files on Shaw. The find his history: heÕd been the third subject of an experiment to implement android Manhunter nanotechnology into humans. He was given a false backstory of an origin in the Himalayas. The mental toying fractured his mind and over time he took other identities like the Privateer and Star-Tsar. The government then created his own arch enemy as an alias: Dumas. His masters could use Dumas to do dirty work and Shaw chased Dumas fruitlessly. Chase then finds a file on the OMAC project, which nearly activates an OMAC near them. She kills the link. Kate awakes in ShawÕs clutches. He thinks he is Dumas. She breaks free and engages him, but theyÕre interrupted by an OMAC themselves. (#13 10 2005
Chase and Dylan locate Kate. Instead of killing Shaw, the OMAC extracts his government programming. Chase oddly manifests a metahuman power (1st time) and waylays the android. After it destroys kateÕs staff and ShawÕs implants, it departs. They decide to hide Shaw at DylanÕs. Afterwards, Kate visits her son and gets romantic with her ex. (#14 11 2005
KateÕs origin: her equipment came from the L.A. Federal Building. The suit belonged to a Darkstar who died and fell to Earth. It was taken by a homeless man named Jake who used it only briefly then abandoned it. The gauntlets belonged to John Paul Valley, Azrael, when he was briefly Batman. It too was found in a wreckage by a thug, Philly. He used it to try to commit burglary and died when he fell out a skyscraper window. The staff originally belonged to Mark Shaw, but was last used by his successor, an unnamed man who impersonated shaw and died on a mission against Eclipso in South America. Unknown to Amanda Waller, Sargeant Steel, who had programmed this new Manhunter to think he was Shaw. Steel then kept Shaw in "Dumas mode." (#15 12 2005
Kate trains with Mark Shaw. Her armor has been modified so that her own weapons cannot be used against her. She leaves in pursuit of the villain Skorpio, who is robbing a bank. Dylan gives her a teleportation device, which she uses for the first time. Skorpio goes down quickly. Her son Ramsey is kidnapped by her father. Ramsey's father is then lured into a trap. Chase takes Kate to meet Director Bones. He offers her a position Ð not for the DEO, for him. They share a secret conversation and she comes to a conclusion. Shaw argues with a stranger via the television. Dylan sees the reporter, Shoemaker, on TV and realizes all the times he's seen him in public. He dons a super-suit and pursues the reporter personally, confronting him about why he's following Kate. (#16 01 2006
After accepting a mystery offer to cooperate with Director Bones, Kate discovers that Peter has been kidnapped, bloodily. She remembers the call from a man claiming to be her birth father (she was adopted, her birth father killed her mother). Bones finds more information on the man, Walter Ñ he's the son of the original Atom, Al Pratt. Walter delivers Ramsey and Peter to Dr. Moon and Phobia. Kate rifles through her old belongings and finds a secret envelope with a newspaper clipping of her father, Walter Pratt, who was jailed for murdering Lydia. Dylan interrogates the reporter to find out why he's tailing Kate. The reporter doesn't actually know she's Manhunter, but puts the pieces together while he's there. Dylan accidentally teleports him away. When he goes to look for him, Mark Shaw lurks behind. (#17 02 2006
Peter is shown tape of Signalman being tortured. Phobia plies her trade to Peter. Dr. Moon tells Walter that he is dying of myeloma and that his grandson is not a suitable marrow donor. Kate learns her family history from Chase. She receives a call from Walter, asking her to come alone. She finds Dr. Moon a formidable opponent but stabs him in the throat. Phobia enters the battle and impales Kate with her own staff (this happens only in Phobia's mind). Kate's assistant, Damon Matthews receives a visit from his boyfriend: Todd Rice Ñ Obsidian! (#18 03 2006
Manhunter turns Phobia's powers on herself by wrapping her head in her mask. Its psi-dampeners caused Phobia's powers to backfire. Chase seeks out Dylan. He gives her a teleporter that must be used within 15 miles of the destination. Kate goes to free Peter but is stopped by her father. Walt discovers that his last hope, Dr. Moon, is dead. He destroys her staff with a supercharged projectile. Then Ramsey walks in and Walt takes him hostage. Chase teleports in and saves Ramsey. They flee via the teleporter and when Walt follows them, they terminate the connection while he's en route. He's killed by being split in half. At the hospital, Kate miscarries. Green Lantern Alan Scott turns up to tell his son Todd (at his boyfriend's place) that his sister Jade has died in space. (#19 04 2006
One Year Later: Cameron is sleeping with Dylan (supposedly platonically) and keeping it from Kate (who knows anyway). On patrol, Manhunter busts Punch and Jewelee. She is aided by the fully-restored Obsidian. The two have become friends. Peter has remarried and his new wife, Julie is pregnant with a new baby. Peter has written a screenplay that's being filmed. Kate has a home in Silver Lake. During her shower, Director Bones enters and suprises her: he has applied makeup over his invisible skin to make himself pass for normal (he is african-american). He gives her a disk with a new assignment as Julie drops Ramsey off. In East L.A., a girl is murdered by a psycho with an energized blade. Her new assignment is to be Dr. Psycho's defense attorney. (#20 05 2006
In Metropolis during the Crisis, Dr. Psycho took over dozens of people, ordering them to kill the Hangmen, who defied the Society's orders. A year later, Psycho is on trial and hears from one of the vicitms of his mind control. Kate puts the witness down by revealing past mental illness. It's part of some secret plan with Bones. Dylan receives an electronic message from the reporter. Shaw encounters a dog named Thor; when he follows, he's struck down by a dart. Outside L.A.,k a cheating husband is murdered by a metahuman. Dr. Mid-Nite takes the stand, showing how the victims' brain patterns were altered. Kate counters that he has no proof that it was actually Psycho's doing. Afterwards, she catches up to Mid-Nite and asks him to help her discover her lineage. He takes her blood (#21 06 2006
Atom-Smasher visits obsidian and his boyfriend. Kate receives a bouquet of roses and enters a hallucination that she is Wonder Woman battling Dr. Psycho. At school, Ramsey demonstrates great strength in taking down a bully. Mark Shaw returns home in a daze, dreaming about a Manhunter society, the Order of St. Dumas. Dr. Mid-Nite finds 2 matches for Kate's DNA in the JSA database. Dylan's computer systems go haywire, manifesting a hydra. It's the Kilg%re, taking the form of the reporter. Kate is able to zap it. Cameron investigates a killing by a meta and finds him: Sweeney Todd (based on the British legend of the murderous barber). (#22 07 2006
Chase takes a blade to the back from Sweeney Todd. Kate discovers that Dylan has digitized the journalist for a year. She gets a call from Chase and goes to help, taking her away from the scene. Julie has her baby, a girl Violet Elizabeth Robinson. Talia visits Dr. Psycho in jail psychically. She orders him to accept his verdict. If guilty, it will work in the Society's favor because public opinion will think them weakened. Kate and Cam join Damon and Todd for lunch. She gets a call from Dr. Mid-Nite who tells her her grandmother lives in Santa Barbara. There she finds Sandra Knight, Phantom Lady. She tells her about how she and Arn argued when she became pregnant the first time. They weren't ready for children an she secretly was pregnant. She confided in the Atom, who helped her take a leave of absence while she had the baby, which she gave up for adoption. The nurse put Al Pratt's name as the father on the birth certificate. She married Arn after the war and their second child was kidnapped by Baron Blitzkreig. (#23 08 2006
Before Psycho's verdict can be read, the Society finally frees his restraints. He soon finds his defender is the Manhunter and forces her to do his bidding for a brief time before she breaks his control. He turns innocents on her. She uses a weapon that cleaves his mind but not his flesh. After he's in custody, she reads the jury's "not guilty" verdict. The Society's core beleives they are better off without him. Later, Bones remarks how wonderful it is that every super-villain will want her as their defender. Mark Shaw leaves Dylan's place with no word, afraid he might hurt someone close. Chase tracks Sweeney Todd, who kills women with metagenes ready to activate. He takes their pituitary glands. (#24 09 2006
Julie asks Kate to be Violet's godmother. Iron Munroe seeks Bones, searching for his granddaughter. Later, Kate hosts friends at home and they go to a concert, where Sweeney Todd awaits. He crashes their evening, literally, and quickly dispatches Obsidian. Kate subdues him with his own blade then exits the nightclub to media fanfare. Later at her office, Wonder Woman waits to see her, as a client. In the Bering Sea,. Mark Shaw tries to escape himself. (#25 10 2006

break?


The US government pursues a case against Wonder Woman even though she was cleared in the world court. Diana knows her identity and thinks her sense of justice is Amazonian. They share the same view about killing in the face of no choices. She takes the case if Diana agrees to train Manhunter. Chase receives a call from her sister Terry, who's been kidnapped by Dr. Trapp. Mark Shaw ventures to the Himalayas but frightens the local he hoped would help him. He then faces an army of warriors. In D.C., someone is angered to learn Kate is helping Diana. (#26 02 2007
Chase flashes back to the Justice Experience, when her powers first manifested under capture by Dr. Trap. She made him weak. The Justice Experience were trying to free her, fighting robot duplicates of themselves. First app. of The Who? (#27 03 2007
Diana calls in Batman to verify Ted Kord's identity. Batman has the goggles he wore when he was shot, and thus DNA. Diana's lasso fails to reveal anything. They're attacked by the Madmen. Beetle gives Kate a parachute that fails to work, but she's saved by Diana. In Gotham, Chase visits the Justice Experience museum, where her sister is held by Trapp and she is ambushed. Dylan calls in a favor from a former cohort. In the Himalayas, the Order of St. Dumas enlightens Mark Shaw of their history, how for ages they'd been a splinter group from the Knights Templar that existed to modern day and kept hidden agents throughout the world. Their first public championi was Stephen Forrest Lee, who was not aware of his heritage in Dumas. He wound up being a destroyer and splintered the order again. This splinter named Jean Paul Valley their next champion until he died. Now they look outside their bloodline to the incorruptible Shaw for their avatar. Sasha Bordeaux gives Kate a tape showing the whole scene of Max's murder. (#28 04 2007
Diana refuses to let Kate use the full footage of Max's death because she doesn't want Superman's reputation tarnished. kate calls Lois Lane and delivers a message to Superman. He arrives and asks the counsel and judge to drop the case. Though the judge believes the tape, she cannot legally drop the case. Batman calls to tell Kate that the "Beetle" is Everyman. Batman discovered it by subjecting Everyman's DNA to the presence of another foreign sample, and watched it morph. He attacks Kate but escapes. Damon calls to say the jury has a verdict. Dylan acquires armor of Firebug to help Cameron. Mark Shaw awakes back in the U.S., with a new uniform of St. Dumas. Trapp poses Cameran and Terry over a vat of molten wax and Dylan arrives to help but is kayoed by Trapp (#29 05 2007
Ramsey meets Wonder Woman, who claims Everyman's powers were magical. Everyman returns to Circe. Dylan pushes Trapp into molten metal and frees the women, but Trapp jumps out again and Chase puts him down for good, but discovers its a robot duplicate. Mark Shaw continues to deny the order of St. Dumas. Dylan sees an old friend who lent him the Firefly suit. After, the man betrays him to the Joker, blowing Dylan's witness protection. Diana picks Kate up in a Hummer because it's inconspicuous in L.A. At court, the jury does nt indict Wonder Woman, convinced by the complete audio documentation. Jurors comment that she never acted guilty and men have gotten away with worse. Kate returns home to a surprise party with her friends. In San Fran, a bomb destroys a women's Health clinic. (#30 06 2007

vol 3

Recap of Manhunter's mission. Mark Shaw dubbed her the last Manhunter. She comes up against Atomic Skull, whom she defeats with brute force. In El Paso, a strange staler strikes. Later, Kate expects Sandra to pick up Ramsey, but it's Iron who arrives. She's cold to him. He is apologetic. Dylan receives a gift apparently from the Joker, stalking him. Kate's employee Jerry tells her of the monsters of Juarez, women vanishing. She investigates with Obsidian after Bones denies her information. When Mexican authorities find them, she bails from a helicopter and stumbles upon a dead body. Blue Beetle arrives. (#31 08 2008
(#32 09 2008
(#32 09 2008
Kate comes up against the pharmaceutical company's hired muscle. She's "saved" by the Suicide Squad: Boomerang, Plastque, Bronze, Multiplex, Vertigo, who say they're free agents now. Ramsey stays with Sandra and Iron. When he runs off into traffic, he's hit by a truck, but is unhurt. Dylan is attacked. (#33 10 2008
The Suicide Squad attempts to stop Kate but she kills many of Multiplex's dupes. She escapes and is picked up by Huntress and Zinda. They learn that the Squad is there as a deep undercover operation trying to find the people running it. She gives them a piece of costume with her blood so they can say they killed her. After, she heads back into the desert after the Crime Doctor. Iron covers up Ramsey's new powers by telling police he had stopped the truck. He also reveals that Thor is a robot dog. They tell Ramsey his family history. Sandra puts doubt to the notion their second child was killed by Blitzkreig. Dylan is attacked by his former father-in-law, who mentions his ex-wife Linda. Mark Shaw returns to find the man bound (#34 11 2008
Kate fights an army of engineered metas. The Birds help her break into the facility. Cameron is pregnant, needs to look for the Joker to find Dylan. Suicide Squad's duplicity is exposed and they're knocked out. (#35 12 2008
Fallout from Vesetech's fall affects whole DCU. (#36 01 2009
Years, later, Ramsey graduates from grad school in filmmaking, has chosen heroing, too. He's gay, boyfriend Justin who has powers of growing super sized. Obsidian's daughter is named Jen/Jade. Dylan lost an eye, is still with Cameron. Kate dates an older man, Matt. Kate tracks Sweeney Todd's girlfriend, Nellie Lovett, who's trying to revive him. She succeeds by using Mr. Bones as a host. the blade is possessed of his spirit. Mark Shaw visits Dylan. (#37 02 2009
At Ramsey's graduation party, Sweeney Todd attacks in Bones' body. Obsidian has another child, Alan. Cam and Dylan have broken up and not told anyone. Kate gives Ramsey his own Manhunter suit. His dad is dead. (#38)

+ Powers

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Appearances + References

» FEATURED APPEARANCES:  

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» SERIES:
  • Manhunter v.3, current (2004-)