Looking for a different version of this character?
|As a result of the New 52 in 2011, the entire line of DC characters was relaunched, incorporating properties belonging to the company's imprints: Wildstorm, Milestone, and Vertigo. As such, elements of this character's history have been altered in some way from the previous incarnation. For a complete list of all versions of this character, see our disambiguation page.|
Dr. Kirk Langstrom is the inventor of the infamous Man-Bat Serum, a special formula that has the ability to turn the user into a hideous bat monster, the Man-Bat. Though he originally created it to help the deaf and blind, because of its temporary side effects, multiple people have taken advantage of it, including Langstrom himself, often in the name of vigilantism. However, because the user becomes almost feral with its use, Langstrom has acted as both an ally and enemy to Batman.
Langstrom's serum was first stolen by the League of Assassins but then was handed over to Ignatius Ogilvy by League defector Anya Volkova which he uses as an airborne virus to spread throughout Gotham City's "900 Block".
Kirk and his wife Francine were escorted by Batwoman to Batman's location where he revealed that he was the creator of the serum, intending to help deaf people. He then used a sample of the serum Batman had obtained to inject himself. This created an anti-virus which also spread through the air. Langstrom was turned into a Man-Bat (the last remaining Man-Bat) as his anti-virus cured the remaining citizens of Gotham.
During Batman's second year as a vigilante, Man-Bat joined the "War of Jokes and Riddles" between the Joker and the Riddler for the right to kill Batman. While the two villains invited all the criminals they could into their war, Man-Bat found himself siding with the Joker. For weeks the battle raged on between the two sides before Batman was forced to focus his efforts on one army in particular, choosing to go after the Joker's militia first. Man-Bat was apprehended by the Bat and taken to Arkham.
While Batman and the other Leaguers were incapacitated by the Crime Syndicate, leaving Gotham without a vigilante to keep its criminals in check, Langstrom succumbed to his addiction to his Man-Bat formula to combat both his maniacal wife and the thugs that were taking the streets. However, Man-Bat began to lose his mind from prolonged usage and resorted to acting as a feral monster himself, with no body to stop him.
Meanwhile, the super-villains of both Arkham Asylum and Blackgate Penitentiary began to go to war with each other over who would get the privilege to rule Gotham City, appropriately dubbed "the Arkham War." Man-Bat, using his serum to create more monsters like himself, joined forces with the Arkhamites under Scarecrow's leadership. The war was eventually lost to Bane and his forces, and Batman returned to restore order within the city.
Overcoming his addiction for the time being, Langstrom started working at the prestigious Gotham private school Gotham Academy as a biology teacher, putting his skills with science to better use.
Justice League Dark
Powers and Abilities
- Transformation: By injection of the Man-Bat Serum, Langstrom can transform himself into a half-human/half-bat creature. Once the serum effect wears off, the Man-Bat returns back to human form.
- Enhanced Strength
- Enhanced Durability
- Sound Manipulation
- Animal Empathy: Man-Bat was able to empathically reach out to local bats and ask them for their help, after which they organized and swarmed his targets.
- Enhanced Hearing: Man-Bat's ears are ten times more sensible to sounds than human ears.
- Drug Addiction: Langstrom, after sacrificing himself to save the 900, became addicted to his Man-Bat serum, waiting until his wife was asleep each night to take the formula. Langstrom fought his addiction and regretted anything he did in his Man-Bat state but that wouldn't stop him from using the serum when needed.
- Robert "Kirk" Langstrom was created by Frank Robbins and Neal Adams, first appearing in Detective Comics #400. However, in the Prime Earth continuity, Robert "Kirk" Langstrom first appeared as part of the New 52 DC Universe in Detective Comics (Volume 2) #19 by John Layman and Jason Fabok.
- 114 Appearances of Kirk Langstrom (Prime Earth)
- 66 Images featuring Kirk Langstrom (Prime Earth)
- 7 Quotations by or about Kirk Langstrom (Prime Earth)
- Character Gallery: Kirk Langstrom (Prime Earth)
|Justice League member|
This character is or was a member of the Justice League of America, or the Justice League in any of its various incarnations, sworn by a duty to act as guardians of America and the world by using their skills and/or superpowers to protect Earth from both interstellar and domestic threats.
Secret Society of Super-Villains member