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Quote1 My life hasn't exactly gone the way I planned. I have a lot more to offer the world than losing my mind and trying to eat Batman... I was a respected scientist once... I thought, perhaps, if I could make some sense of this strangeness, they'd respect me again? Quote2
Man-Bat src

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.

Early Life

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".[2]

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.[2]

Early Crimes

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.

New 52

Forever Evil

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.[3]

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.[4] The war was eventually lost to Bane and his forces, and Batman returned to restore order within the city.

Gotham Academy

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.

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DC Rebirth

Justice League Dark

Kirk, seeking redemption for his past actions, joined the newly reformed Justice League Dark. Inspecting the cadavers mutated at Salem with Wonder Woman and Detective Chimp, their experimentation was cut-off by the bodies rising under the power of the Otherkind just as Swamp Thing and Zatanna arrived, warning of the future threat of one of the members and the severity of the issue.[5]

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The new formation!

Defeating the small horde the group came together and journeyed to the Tower of Fate for aid from Kent Nelson. However, being of little mystic standing he and Kirk were forced to stand away from his conversation from Diana and Zatanna while Alec journeyed to the nearby Tree of Wonder. Excited to be in such a magical place, he broke a jar containing the real Doctor Fate, Khalid Nassour, who warned the duo that Nabu had been faking his and Kent's position for weeks.[6] Returning to the others with the Detective they attacked the newly summoned Upside-Down Man, but was defeated until Diana, empowered by a powerful and unknown magic banished the menace.[7]

The Witching Hour

Returning to a meeting, Hecate, wishing to take control of Diana, began possessing her, however the team was able to escape into the Oblivion Bar. However John was already there in the destroyed Bar, warning the group that they missed an attack by another witch marked and that Witching Hour had begun.[8] Searching for answers the League hunted a unicorn before coming to Aeaea to speak with Circe, a student of Heacte for answers, finding out that Diana and four others are Witch-Marked, containing Hecate's power. Not only that, but her ultimate plan is to replace all magic and use this new system to prevent the Otherkind from invading. However their conversation was cut short by Deadman warning all that a witch-marked Manitou Dawn was attacking Nanda Parbat.[9]

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Helping the evacuation into the Bar with Bobo, the two were attacked by Manitou. However her connection was cut off before any damage could be done by Constantine, the mystic funneling it back into the remaining witch-marked, Diana, unintentionally. Though the two found out that Hecate had already gotten a hold of magic, locking the team within the Bar. Luckily they were teleported to Circe's location along with the rest of the League, the witch warning that Hecate and the possessed Diana are going after the Sphere of Gods. Forced with little choice they all faced Diana in Olympus, but the Amazon, having convened with the other parts of Hecate broke free. Using the Upside-Down Man, the Dark Multiverse counterpart of the goddess, to defeat Hecate, Kirk returned to the Hall where he briefed the League on the matter with Bobo.[10]

Lords of Order

Believing he has gone mad, the League locked Kirk within headquarters. Not diminished, he began work to unseal Khalid, as the Otherkind invasion began. Successful in this manner, Khalid revealed the truth of Nabu's betrayal to Kirk. Nabu, believing the only way to gain a true Order and stop the rampant chaos in creation trapped both Khalid and Kent to side with the Otherkind while he began his plan to destroy the Sphere of the Gods. The two later teleported to the Swamp Thing, Bobo, and many others in Myrra to heed them that magic can still be saved.[11][12] Left with no choice as they formed a plan the group left Myrra, the realm destroyed by the Lords of Order.

Ultimately humbled, the group faced having their mind and magic ripped from them, but was stopped by Diana and Zatara, who had given the rest of the League the means to fight by turning them into Lords of Order themselves. Turning the tide, the group won, unsealing The Phantom Stranger, Constantine, and Etrigan. With reality in shambles, Diana took back her power from Kirk and used the Ruby and Mordu's power to write a new order in magic.[13]

The Witching War

During a mission to clear out a vampire habitat with new members Khalid and Kent, Kirk, suspicious of another sound, was separated from the League. Approached by Klarion and Teekl, he was enchanted with a spell, bringing back out his monstrous instincts.[14] Returning to base, Diana made everyone aware of the issue: Circe, being the last Witch-Marked, was granted the vast majority of Hecate's power since her defeat and is now making her move while magic was recovering. However, slipping in sanity he began working on a new formula to bring out these repressed instincts in full. Attacking Bobo and Khalid while the rest of the team was occupied and Swamp-Thing was weakened by The Rot, he was stopped by one of Bobo's defenses in the Oblivion Bar and was reverted to his cured form by Khalid, though still enchanted.[15][16]

Kirk was later restored by the aid of the new Doctor Fate, Khalid, and Diana, who had since made a deal for power with the Upside-Down Man.[17]

Infinite Frontier


Task Force Z



  • 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.
  • Magic: Kirk possess some ability in performing magic, having learned overtime to open up his magical sensitivity and successfully casted a spell to free Khalid Nassour from being sealed off by Nabu in a vase.[23]


  • Genius Level Intellect: Kirk Langstrom possess a genius-level intellect with interest in various sciences. He was formerly a respected scientist until his Man-Bat serum creation damaged and stained his reputation among the scientific community.[24]
    • Occultism: Langstrom gained knowledge of the magical arts; his approach in it's study is similar to his approaches in science and learned how to perform some spell-craft from Traci 13's explanation of magic.[23]
    • Pedagogy: Professor Langstrom is a certified biology teacher at Gotham Academy.
    • Science
    • Chemistry

Other Characteristics

  • 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.




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