Man-Bat - On leathery wings… (I had to!)

By  Phil Perich for Before the Bat: The Gotham Podcast

Do you know who would be an interesting character for the Gotham TV show?  Dr. Kirk Langstrom, the alter ego of the Man-Bat!  No, not Batman, Man-Bat.  Dr. Kirk Langstrom, the Man-Bat, first appeared in Detective Comics #400 (June 1970). 

Kirk was a scientist specializing in Chiropterology, the study of bats.  He develops an extract hoping to give humans a sonar sense similar to bats.  He hopes to cure deafness in this way since he himself was going deaf.  The extract works but also turns Kirk into a mindless man sized bat until Batman subdues and cures him.  Kirk would later take the extract again and this time convinces his wife to also.  Batman then has to stop 2 giant bats.  Kirk would later refine his extract so that he would physically change but keep his human intellect.  It was at this time that Man-Bat operated as a hero, working with others, such as private detective Jason Bard.  Kirk and his wife Francine had 2 children, Becky and Aaron.  When Aaron is diagnosed with a life threatening disease, Francine uses the extract to turn him into a man-bat, which saves his life.  Kirk as the Man-Bat would run afoul of super heroes and villains, like when he was almost captured by Deathstroke the Terminator to sell to a big game hunter.  It was the intervention of Nightwing that freed Man-Bat, but did not return him to normal.  This took place in Nightwing #17-18 (February-March 1998). 

Kirk’s history is altered after DC Comics New 52 reboot. In this new universe, Kirk is only developing his Man-Bat formula when it is stolen by a Mob boss who infects a whole Gotham neighborhood.  Kirk is able to cure everyone only by injecting himself with the formula and becoming the Man-Bat.  

Kirk is later cured but becomes addicted to the formula and has to take it every night, waking up the next morning with no memory of what he did as the Man-Bat the next before.  The villainous Talia Al Ghul (daughter of Ra’s) has also been shown to have stolen the Man-Bat formula to alter her ninja assassins.  Even if it’s too early to bring Man-Bat into the Gotham show, I think we need Kirk Langstrom in season 2. Let me hear YOUR thoughts! or

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Until next time, be good!  Remember, that’s not always Batman up there! 

Posted on June 25, 2015 and filed under Television, Superheroes, Comics.