- My law partner told me the only job with a higher mortality rate than Gotham D.A. is a "Red Shirt" on "Star Trek".
- — Kate Spencer src
Kate Spencer is the heroine Manhunter. Though she carries the name, she is not affiliated with the Manhunter Cult.
Kate Spencer was a federal prosecutor who grew increasingly tired of seeing guilty criminals evade punishment. Copperhead, a criminal on trial for multiple murders and cannibalism, avoids a death sentence and escapes from custody after killing two guards. Angry, Kate stole equipment from an evidence room and killed Copperhead. Calling herself Manhunter, Kate blackmailed a former weapons manufacturer for numerous villains named Dylan Battles — who was in the Witness Protection Program — into building, maintaining, and upgrading her armor, weapons, and gadgets to arm her crusade against criminals who escaped punishment by the law.
In addition to legal proceedings and fighting crime, Kate's life includes awkward relationships with her six-year-old son Ramsey and novelist ex-husband. Kate's secret life as Manhunter cuts into her career and family life, but her co-counsel Damon Matthews covers for her. Kate's father Walter Pratt spent time in prison for murdering her mother, and after her father developed superpowers and escaped from prison, she came to believe that her grandfather is superhero Al Pratt, the original Atom, a member of the Justice Society of America.
Later she discovered her grandparents were actually Iron Munro and Sandra Knight, the Phantom Lady of Argent. Al Pratt became involved when he accompanied Phantom Lady to a home for unwed mothers and his name was placed on the birth certificate of the resulting baby. Kate's son, Ramsey, subsequently developed superpowers, when he smashed a semi truck when rescuing his dog. This makes him the fourth male in five generations (the powers seem to have skipped Kate) of his family line to gain superpowers.
One year after the Infinite Crisis, Kate was working as a lawyer for Doctor Psycho, successfully getting him acquitted of the crime of mind-controlling a crowd to violent actions. She was then selected to serve as Wonder Woman's lawyer in the legal investigation into the death of Maxwell Lord. She continued her connection with the DEO, and she was also been invited to join the Birds of Prey.
She assisted Blue Beetle in busting a murder/smuggling conspiracy near the Mexican border. Like the Green Lantern Rings, Kate found that her Controller created Darkstar Exo-Mantle had adverse reactions to the Blue Beetle's Reach created Scarab.
After Batman's death, Manhunter was summoned to Gotham along with other heroes to join the Network. Following Oracle's command, Manhunter stopped Black Spider and then rescued a hostage from Hugo Strange by teaming up with Ragman.
Some Years Later
Approximately 15 years later, Kate is still active as the Manhunter. Dylan Battles and Cameron Chase recently split up. Todd Rice and Damon Matthews are still part of Kate and Ramsey's life. Iron Munro and Sandra Knight are as well. After Ramsey graduates from film school, Kate gives him a uniform similar to her own (designed by Battles) so that he may pursue a hero career like he wanted.
Powers and Abilities
- Darkstar Exo-Mantle: Stripped down to basics by Dylan Battles it originally came from a Darkstar who died and fell to earth. Now customized to her specifics it allows Kate Spencer certain abilities.
- Clawed Gauntlets: Kate came into possession of the gauntlets used by Azrael as Batman and decided to use them herself.
- Power Baton: A power staff from a previous Manhunter which can fire 'force blasts'.
- Kate is the only member of her family line to not have superpowers. Her great-granfather Hugo Danner was given powers by a serum injected while in-utero. Her grandfather, father, and son all developed superpowers naturally. It could be that the powers only develop in male members of the family.
- Through her grandmother, Sandra Knight, she is third cousins to Ted Knight. Her family may be the oldest family of heroes, reaching all the way back to 1930.
- Though Manhunter never showed overt inherent powers like her family members, she has occasionally survived and recovered from things that would normally be deadly such as lethal doses of venom, suggesting Kate may benefit from an enhanced constitution even she remains unaware of.
- 99 Appearances of Katherine Spencer (New Earth)
- 51 Images featuring Katherine Spencer (New Earth)
- 5 Quotations by or about Katherine Spencer (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Katherine Spencer (New Earth)
Birds of Prey member