I recently picked up a Man-Bat special from 1984 that reprinted three of his earliest appearances. They weren't bad, but they didn't blow me away. I also have a book & record comic that i think is an original story, and I've read his self-titled series from the 1970's, neither of which impressed me. Are there any truly great Man-Bat stories from the silver/bronze age?

Views: 904

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Thinking about him now, he's a bit of a rip-off of the Lizard, isn't he?

The laboratory, the disability, the tattered costume, the loving family. The Lizard bores me to tears, so that bodes ill for the Man-bat.
You know, I never though of that before and I think you may be right. The Lizard bores me too, but for some aesthetic reason I like Man-Bat.
At least the Man-Bat leaves the lab-coat where it belongs - in the lab! There's a good aesthetic choice right there.

The Man-Bat was one of those ideas just waiting to be activated. "Like Bat-Man, but the other way around". I'll concede he has a great look.
I would say the best Man-Bat stories are from "Batman: The Animated Series."
I like Frank Robbins's Batman stories, and Man-Bat's first appearance is my idea of a good one. The fun of the story for me, though, is the contest between Batman and the villains.

Man-Bat's fourth and fifth appearances were drawn by Robbins himself. To me this is a plus, but his art isn't to everyone's taste. In "Man-Bat Madness!" from Detective Comics #416, Langstrom experiences a drug flashback, transforms into Man-Bat, and wants to remain that way forever. In "Man-Bat Over Vegas!" from Detective #429 Batman suspects he's responsible for a string of vampire murders. This one has a downbeat element. The GCD tells me the latter story was reprinted in The Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told.

I found the next story, "King of the Gotham Jungle" from Batman #254, by Robbins and Irv Novick, mediocre. Man-Bat helps Batman catch the Getaway Genius.

Later in the 70s he appeared in back-up stories in Detective Comics and Batman Family (and Detective Comics when it was combined with Batman Family). In those I've seen of these he caught crooks.

I haven't seen his first Brave and the Bold appearance. Appearances in The Brave and the Bold and DC Comics Presents at the end of the 70s had him desperate to find a way to help his daughter, who couldn't sleep due to her hyper-acute hearing. These stories are servicable.

In the 80s a Gerry Conway storyline in Batman had Man-Bat driven nuts by a bad Man-Bat formula. The story in ##341-342 starts out as a mystery and turns into a story about Batman trying to save Langstrom from himself. Art by Irv Novick, at the tail end of his regular involvement with the feature. In #348 Batman pursues Man-Bat through cave system under the manor after he kidnaps his daughter. Art by Gene Colan.

Man-Bat next returned in one of Doug Moench's first Batman stories, but I haven't read that one.

(1) This was towards the end of the period in which Batman lived in a penthouse on top of the Wayne Foundation Building, and operated out of a Batcave beneath it. In #348 he and Robin moved back to Wayne Manor.
Man-Bat also had his own book for TWO issues in the mid-70s. The first was drawn by Steve Dikto with a Batman appearance! The second featured minor yet disturbing Bat-Villain, the Ten-Eyed Man.

"Brave & Bold" #119 had Man-Bat travelling into the Caribbean to capture an assassin, Killer Krag, for the reward money! The highlight was Batman taking the bat-gland extract and becoming a *Batman-Bat* briefly.
Maybe I haven't read enough Man-Bat stories, but it seems to me that every Man-Bat story I've ever read is exactly like every other Man-Bat story I've ever read: The arrogant scientist who is dumb enough to use his concoction on himself, to his immediate regret when it backfires, followed by a whole series of adventures in which he causes mayhem and destruction, whining and angsting all the while, while he (or, more likely, someone else) desperately seeks to create a cure, and then battles with the hero who tries to administer it.

Which sums up every Man-Bat story I've ever read, and every Lizard story I've ever read, and every Morbius story I've ever read ...
ClarkKent_DC said:
Which sums up every Man-Bat story I've ever read, and every Lizard story I've ever read, and every Morbius story I've ever read ...

Well sometimes Morbius quit trying to find a cure and just fought some bad guys.
Just wanted to thank Luke for the info! A couple of those sound fun enough and I'll be seeking them out!
Travis Herrick said:
ClarkKent_DC said:
Which sums up every Man-Bat story I've ever read, and every Lizard story I've ever read, and every Morbius story I've ever read ...

Well sometimes Morbius quit trying to find a cure and just fought some bad guys.

Really?

Will wonders never cease ... !
My pleasure, Mr. S. "Servicable" isn't a very clear description. I meant the two stories are undistinguished DC comics of their time. The DC Comics Presents one is very much a Superman story, and has a dumb twist ending.
Figserello said:
The Lizard bores me to tears...

You, sir, are a Philistine!

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Welcome!

No flame wars. No trolls. But a lot of really smart people.The Captain Comics Round Table tries to be the friendliest and most accurate comics website on the Internet.

SOME ESSENTIALS:

RULES OF THE ROUND TABLE

MODERATORS

SMILIES FOLDER

TIPS ON USING THE BOARD

FOLLOW US:

OUR COLUMNISTS:

Groups

© 2019   Captain Comics, board content ©2013 Andrew Smith   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service