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Manslaughter

Real Name: Unrevealed
Occupation: Assassin
Identity: Presumably known to the police
Legal Status: Presumably a citizen of the United States; has criminal and psychiatric records
Other Aliases: None known
Place of Birth: Unrevealed
Marital Status: Unrevealed, presumably single
Known Relatives: None
Group Affiliation: Defenders
Base of Operations: Unrevealed, apparently mobile
First Appearance: (in shadow) DEFENDERS #133, (fully seen) DEFENDERS #134

History: Very little has been revealed about the past of the assassin calling himself Manslaughter. He has claimed he grew up in poverty on the streets, but he may have been lying. It is known, however, that he once used his then-latent mental powers to track down the mysterious being known as Interloper in the Siberian wilderness. Impressed by this feat, Interloper taught Manslaughter how to bring out his psychic abilities. But realizing that Manslaughter had an unstable psyche, Interloper did not teach him too much, for fear of making his pupil too potentially dangerous.

Unfortunately, as Interloper later regretted, what Manslaughter did learn made him quite dangerous enough. Aided by his psychic abilities, Manslaughter began a career as a hired assassin, motivated more by what he saw as the sport and thrills of trapping and killing victims than by his fees. Eventually, a crime boss whose recent cocaine smuggling operation had been wrecked by the team of superhuman adventurers known as the Defenders hired Manslaughter to kill them. But the Defenders defeated the formidable Manslaughter and then sent him to prison.

Months later, Manslaughter returned and told the Defenders that he so admired the style with which they defeated him that he wanted to join their team. When they refused, Manslaughter trapped most of them. All of them escaped Manslaughter's traps but the Angel, whom Manslaughter hid in the Defenders' mansion, which he set ablaze. Manslaughter said he would save the Angel only if he himself was made a Defender. Just then Manslaughter was caught by Interloper, who was on the trail of the dangerous Moondragon, and who used his powers to extinguish the fire.

However, Interloper told the Defenders that they must admit Manslaughter as a member since they would need him to battle Moondragon and the alien entity called the Dragon of the Moon that had taken possession of her. Projecting his own insanity and demonic feelings of fear created by the Gargoyle into Moondragon's mind through a psychic link she had once established with him, Manslaughter proved instrumental in Moondragon's defeat. But then, her power increased by the alien Beyonder, Moondragon returned to the attack, in order to defeat the Dragon, Interloper and another Defender, the Valkyrie, projected their immortal life forces against it. But it was necessary that their power pass through "mortal instruments" in order to defeat Moondragon as well, and so Interloper asked Manslaughter to join him. Believing that thus aiding Interloper would mean his own death, Manslaughter nevertheless acceded to his former teacher's request, and the Defender Andromeda joined the Valkyrie. Joining hands, the four allies hurled the tremendous power of their combined life forces at the Dragon, Moondragon, and the Gargoyle, whose body was now under the Dragon's control. Three other Defenders went to rescue endangered innocents, and when they returned, Interloper, the Valkyrie, Andromeda, Manslaughter, Moondragon, and the Gargoyle had all seemingly been transformed into statues of ashes and dust, and the Dragon of the Moon was apparently gone. But whether this is what truly happened to them, and whether they are still somehow alive, or capable of returning to life, are questions still to be answered.

Height: 5 ft. 7 in.
Weight: 115 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Reddish blond

Strength Level: Manslaughter possesses the normal human strength of a man of his age, height, and build who engages in moderate regular exercise.

Known Superhuman Powers: Manslaughter possesses limited telepathic powers which enable him to "read" the activity of the autonomic nervous systems of other people. He can use this ability to influence the peripheral vision and subliminal hearing of other people. Thus he can effectively make himself invisible unless he is seen straight on, and he can prevent someone from hearing him as long as the sounds he makes are roughly at the level of ambient sound in the room they are in. The source of Manslaughter's powers is unknown; possibly he is a mutant.

Abilities: Manslaughter is brilliantly cunning at hunting and trapping his victims, is highly agile, and has mastered various kinds of weaponry.

Limitations: Although highly intelligent, Manslaughter is a mentally unstable psychotic.

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