DC Database

Quote1 I know more about justice, after meeting all of you, than I ever did as a lawyer! And I still have my uniform and training! If you're willing, I'd like to make the Manhunter a real symbol of justice! Quote2
Manhunter src

Mark Shaw was the Manhunter. An agent of the Manhunter Cult, he fought the Justice League of America and Guardians under several names, but broke with them and became a crime fighter in New York City.


Mark Shaw was born Mark Fletcher. His father, Hugh, was a criminal and died when Mark was very young. His mother, Rose, married Eliot Shaw and Mark was legally adopted. Eliot and Rose had two additional children (James and Eleanor).

Manhunter Cult

See also: Manhunters
Mark Shaw 001

Original Costume

As a young man, Mark was a public defender, unhappy about how easily criminals manipulated the system and got off without punishment. Shaw's uncle Desmond Shaw introduced him to an ancient sect of crime fighters called the Manhunters. Shaw contacted the Grand Master, the sect's leader, through a magical lion medallion. Shortly, he assumed the Manhunter name and costume from a previous Manhunter.[1],[2]

Mark Shaw later reappeared and the Manhunter sect and was shown to be comprised of androids, created billions of years before by the Guardians of Oa to police the galaxy. For millennia, they served the Guardians well. However, the Manhunters became obsessed with the act of 'hunting' criminals. Their code, "No Man Escapes The Manhunters", became more important to them than seeing justice done. Eventually, the androids rebelled against the Guardians, but were swiftly defeated by their creators. Those that survived went into hiding.[3]

The Privateer and the Star-Tsar

The latter-day Manhunters attempted to disgrace the Guardians with Mark Shaw at their side. They were opposed by the Justice League of America, especially by League member Green Lantern. Shaw realized that he had been duped by the Manhunters and turned on them, killing the Grand Master, who was revealed to be a robot. Mark Shaw quickly returned as a new hero called the Privateer[4], but it was soon revealed that he was also working as a villain called the Star-Tsar, in league with the Key. The Red Tornado discovered this deception and Shaw went to prison[5] on federal extortion charges.[6]

Bounty Hunter

When the Millennium event occurred Mark was still serving his sentence. Due to his familiarity with the Manhunter cult, Shaw was offered the chance to accompany the Suicide Squad on a mission as the Privateer, and was released when the mission was completed.[7] Mark donned a new costume to distance himself from the Manhunter cult, moved home to New York City (specifically Manhattan) and began hunting costumed criminals for the bounty. He chose to use the name Manhunter as a way of redeeming his earlier actions.[8] Although he consistently insisted he was a businessman, he often acted as a hero. Among the notable villains he captured are: Captain Cold,[8] Catman,[9] Count Vertigo,[10], Mirage,[11] Outlaw II,[12] Penguin,[8] and Sportsmaster II.[13] He also got involved in numerous other adventures such as protecting Anna-Marie Vere and the subsequent take down of her team known as Argent,[14] "body-guarding" Wally West and disrupting a Durlan infiltration plot during an Alien Invasion!,[15] destroying/retrieving an alien robot for reverse engineering,[16] among others.

During this time, he and his family were threatened by two shape-shifters named Dumas. The first, Stephen Forrest Lee, was born with shape-shifting powers. He was recruited by the Manhunter Cult but turned to assassination and formed his own organization. In the 1930s he created the identity of Olivia Vancroft as a way of creating a love interest. Both Olivia and Dumas had obsessions with masks and when Manhunter first appeared, Olivia vowed to get it by "contracting" Dumas. Shaw killed the first Dumas,[17] but his body was soon recovered by ex-CIA agents looking to duplicate his powers. They succeeded in creating a serum but when Dumas' organization tracked them down, one of them got injected with the serum and became the second Dumas.[18] Shaw's battle with this Dumas led him to discover the Manhunter's true origins and ultimately give up the Manhunter identity.[19]

Later Years

At some point Sarge Steel recruited Shaw to act to act as Steel's double-agent in the super-underworld.[20] For this, Shaw took on the identity of his fallen foe Dumas, and asserted control of the shape-shifter's operations. At this time Shaw, as Dumas, was offered a deal from the demon-lord Neron to be given his greatest desire in exchange for his soul; he rejected the offer.[21] It was later revealed that this was but one of many episodes of manipulation at the hands of the U.S. government, as most of Shaw's memories and personal history were actually the result of mental programming.[22]


Years later, Shaw seemingly joined the Shadow Fighters in order to battle the super-villain Eclipso. While many assumed that Shaw was killed opposing Eclipso alongside many other members of the Shadow Fighters,[23] this was eventually revealed not to be the case.

In fact, when the call went out for heroes to fight Eclipso, Sarge Steel believed, for whatever reason, that it would raise too many questions if Shaw did not answer the call. Steel sent along an impostor in Shaw's place. This impostor thus, apparently, appeared only once and is not known to have done anything but attack Eclipso and die.

Infinite Crisis

During the period leading up to the Infinite Crisis, it was revealed that Shaw's time as Dumas and the mental manipulation of the U.S. government had adversely effected his psyche. He developed a split personality, believing himself to truly be Dumas. This Dumas personality asserted control over Shaw, attempting to kill anyone who had ever used the Manhunter title. He succeeded in killing Dan Richards, Chase Lawler, and Kirk DePaul before targeting the newest Manhunter, Kate Spencer, and even himself. Following a battle with Kate and an OMAC, Shaw was purged of the Dumas identity by Dylan Battles, who removed the Dumas programming from Shaw's psyche. Dylan and Mark soon became roommates. Not long afterward, Shaw was approached to take up the mantle of Azrael by the Order of St. Dumas, but he turned it down.


  • Manhunter Training: As part of the Manhunter Cult's training, Mark has learned the following skills:
    • Fighting: The Manhunter has learned numerous martial-arts styles and fighting techniques.
    • Tracking: The Manhunter is able to find and track people through various terrains.


  • Manhunter Mask: The Manhunter wears a specially designed metallic face mask that contains equipment giving him the following abilities/uses:
    • Automatic Activation: The mask's sensors automatically activate upon donning.
    • Biological Scanning: The mask scans and records biological information including heart rates and voiceprints of those observed.
    • Eye Beams: An attachment that allows periscopic vision.
    • Gas Filter: The mask can filter disabling gases such as knockout gas.
    • Macroscopic/Telescopic Vision: The mask's lenses can magnify images.
    • Sensors: The mask sensors include infra-red, heat and sound. The infra-red lenses only activate on command.
    • Unidirectional Mike: The mask allows Mark to pick-up radio signals such as police scanners. It is possible the mask can amplify Mark's voice and magnify sounds, as he was able to have a conversation with a person over 50 feet away.
  • Power Baton: The Manhunter modified, via modular attachments, the power baton given to him by the Manhunter Cult. The original baton serves as a power source. Once completely drained, the baton can replenish the energy in three hours. With the additions, it provides him the following abilities/uses:
    • Blade: A blade pops out of the end and can be used for fighting or cutting.
    • Bo Staff: The baton can function as a weapon.
    • Grappling Line: The baton can fire a several-dozen length of high-tensile cord which the Manhunter can use as a swingline.
    • Javelin/Spike: The end of the baton contains a retractable spike that enables the baton to be thrown much like a javelin.
    • Magnetic Pulse: The baton can create a magnetic pulse (either with attractive or repulsive polarity) enabling him to pull/push items, including himself.
    • Nunchaku: The baton can be separated into two ends connected by a cord allowing the baton to function as nunchaku.
    • Sonic Maser: The baton can emit a high-frequency piercing soundwave that is similar to the Black Canary's Sonic Cry.
  • Manhunter Costume: The costume contains heavy padding in the upper torso and is made of a leathery material. It also contains numerous small devices, such as:
    • Cutting Tools
    • Flash Discs: On the back of the hands are discs that can create a blinding flash.
    • Flashlight
    • Lockpick Tools

  • Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-One era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985–86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and should be considered apocryphal.