23 February 2008

The Friends and Foes of Batman - Man-Bat

Dr. Kirk Langstrom first became the Man-Bat in 1970. He has since appeared in Batman: The animated Series and The Batman.

Dr. Kirk Langstrom, a scientist specializing in the study of bats, develops an extract intended to give humans the bat's sonar sense and tests the formula on himself because he is becoming deaf. While it works, it has a horrible side effect: it transforms him gradually into a hideous human bat.

He first clashes with Batman when he tries to steal the chemicals needed to reverse his transformation, but his control over the new animalistic instincts resulting from his bat-like state is tenuous, and Batman is forced to subdue him in order to administer the antidote.

Langstrom later refines his serum, enabling him to retain his human intelligence while in bat form, and allowing himself control over his transformations. He works for a while as a detective and independent crime fighter as Man-Bat, while he and Francine marry and have a daughter, Rebecca. Eventually, however, his instability returns and he is left unable to control his transformations. In this condition, he clashes several times with Batman in the Batcave (which he finds by following other bats through the network of caverns; he does not recall its location in human form, and he never knows Batman's secret identity), believing — erroneously — that his daughter is dead and that Batman is somehow responsible.

Although he briefly regains control of his transformations, this appears to have changed. He begins to suspect that his cures missed an element of the serum, and he's losing control to his bat side. He believes he has slaughtered his own wife, son, and daughter.

The Dark Knight returns in 146 days!

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