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Quote1 Dear God. Is this what I have become? More animal than man. When will the surrender be complete? Quote2
Kirk Langstrom src

Robert Kirkland "Kirk" Langstrom is the Man-Bat, a scientist who can turn himself into a humanoid bat-creature with a serum. Originally cast as a villain because of his monstrous appearance and animal behavior, he has since gained control and fights crime.

Early Life

When Kirk Langstrom was a young boy, he fell into a deep cavern and was lost for more than six weeks. Police conducted a massive search for the child, and were nearly ready to give up when they finally found him. Though his parents were overjoyed to see their son returned to them, Kirk seemed almost sorry to leave the cave. He silently waved goodbye to the "friends" he left behind.

A short time later, Kirk met six-year-old Bruce Wayne outside of a movie theater. He regaled Bruce with tales of his adventures beneath the earth, and embellished such tales by telling him about the race of half-human, half-bat creatures he encountered.

As an adult, Kirk left his home town of Chicago and enrolled at Gotham University where he met fellow student Francine Lee. Even after all this time the so-called "cave boy" was still obsessed with bats, and he believed that he could pioneer new medical breakthroughs through the study of bats.[1]

Kirk and Francine started dating and eventually thet became engaged. Unfortunately, Kirk developed and medical condition and started losing his hearing. To find a cure, Langstrom experimented with bats DNA and the experiment seemingly worked at first. Howewever, the side effects of the experiment came later and Langstrom transformed into a creature, half human and half bat. The transformation was gradual and eventually he was turned into a Man-Bat. Following his instincts, Man-Bat went to the Batcave, where Batman captured Man-Bat and with help from Francine, they developed a an antidote that cured Langstrom, reverting the transformation and turning him back to a human; although his hearing loss was cured. Kirk and Francine married soon afterwards.[2]

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Man-Bat Returns

Some time afterwards, Kirk Langstrom relapsed and transformed into Man-Bat once again. This time, he decided to leave Gotham for good and settled in a Central America jungle, avoiding contact with humans, but remembering the love of his life, Francine.[3] The memory of Francine was strong enough to guide Man-Bat back to Gotham, where he became wanted by the Gotham City Police Department for the crimes of Steeljacket; who was attacking members of the scientific community of Gotham. During this time, Man-Bat was wounded by Officer Pettit of the GCPD and his wounds were treated by Killer Croc. When he recovered, Man-Bat confronted Steeljacket and saved his family from the murderous villain; but due to his animalistic state, Man-Bat flew away from Gotham once again, unaware that he had a son called Aaron, who had been born as a man-bat creature.[4]

Langstrom eventually returned to Gotham as a human and started living with his wife once again; the circumstances of how all of these events happened remain unknown. However, when the sun was blacked out from the sky and Earth was plunged into a long, forced night, Langstrom relapsed once again and became Man-Bat, attacking his wife and starting a rampage on Gotham until he was confronted by Batman.[5] Frustrated, Man-Bat left Gotham once again, this time heading for the North Pole, where he was found by a group of scientist who reported him to the federal authorities.[6] Man-Bat was chased by Federals, who wanted to kill him and Batman was able to save his life and revert his transformation once again. Once a human, Langstrom returned home with Batman.[7]

Outsiders

Years later, Robert joined the team known as the Outsiders under Batman's leadership. However, when the team disbanded after an unfortunate accident, Robert offered his support to the only remaining member of the team, Batgirl.[8]

A few days later, Langstrom went to the Iceberg Lounge to join the efforts of other meta-humans to regain control of the city by banning Intergang from Gotham. Penguin was pleased with the help and soon, Batgirl arrived to ask for Man-Bat's help.[9]

After Batman's death, Man-Bat joined the Network, a group of heroes that fought against the increasing crime in Gotham.[10] During this time, Langstrom's wife, Francine, disappeared and Man-Bat went looking for her. In his search, he helped Lynx on a fight against street gangs and later, he arrived at the Gotham Power Plant, where he was attacked by Dr. Phosphorus, who had captured Francine to lure Langstrom into a trap. Langstrom managed to escape, but when Phosphorus attacked Francine, Langstrom transformed into Man-Bat without the need of the Serum and defeated Phosphorus. Realizing the consequences of transforming at will, Langstrom ran away from his wife and friends.[11]

Some time later, Man-Bat was summoned by Oracle to join the other heroes of Gotham against the Seven Men of Death and prevent them from killing Vicki Vale.[12]

Powers

  • Transformation: Upon injection of the Man-Bat Serum, Langstrom can transform himself into a half-human/half-bat creature. Once the serum wears off, the Man-Bat returns back to human form. After years of exposure to the serum, Langstrom is able to transform at will.[11]
    • Wings
      • Flight: Man-Bat can fly by way of artificially generated leather wings.
    • Claws: The Man-Bat has sharpened claws which are strong enough to easily tear through flesh and muscle.
    • Echolocation: Man-Bat can navigate through the air by way of echolocation, similar in function to a bat's radar. It allows him to function in pitch-black darkness.
    • Sound Manipulation: Man-Bat is able to create sonic waves that stun people nearby him. They are capable of shattering glass.[11]
    • 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.[13]

Abilities

  • Zoology: Langstrom is an accomplished zoologist specialized in chiropterology and mammal biology.[1]
  • Chemistry: Brilliant biochemist.

Weaknesses

  • Vulnerability to Sensitive Senses: Man-Bat's hearing is highly sensitive and extremely loud noises cause him great pain. He is also extremely sensitive to bright light, preferring instead to remain in dark locations.

Equipment


  • It has been theorized that the bat that crashed through the Wayne Manor study inspiring Bruce Wayne to become the Batman was one of Kirk Langstrom's test subjects that escaped from his laboratory some time prior to Langstrom becoming the Man-Bat.[1]
  • According to one of Man-Bat's creators Neal Adams, Kirk Langstrom thinks Batman is the greatest hero on Earth. [14]

Related

Footnotes


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Batman Villain(s)
This character, team or organization, has been primarily an enemy of the Batman, or the Batman Family as a whole. This template will categorize articles that include it into the category "Batman Villains."

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