"The Secret Origin of Man-Bat": A mysterious bat-like creature gets into a fight with a band of masked criminals clad only in black. The crime scene earns the attention of the Batman who takes an acute interest in this case. While investigating, he r
- Is there a race of half-men, half-bat that live deep in the caves of Gotham? Did I meet one of them tonight?
- — Batman
Appearing in "The Secret Origin of Man-Bat"
- Martha Wayne (Flashback only)
- Thomas Wayne (Flashback only)
- Curator Wilkins
- Mister Langstrom (First appearance)
- Mrs. Langstrom (First appearance)
- Gotham City
Synopsis for "The Secret Origin of Man-Bat"
A mysterious bat-like creature gets into a fight with a band of masked criminals clad only in black. The crime scene earns the attention of the Batman who takes an acute interest in this case. While investigating, he recalls a man named Kirk Langstrom. Langstrom first gained notoriety when, as a child, he was lost for six weeks in the caverns below Gotham City.
The experience changed Langstrom forever. As an adult he became a scientist and devoted himself towards the study of bats. It was his hope that by duplicating a bat's sonar abilities, he could find a way to cure human diseases. He created a formula from a bat gland extract and experimented upon himself. The serum produced highly unexpected side effects as it transformed Kirk Langstrom into a Man-Bat.
Now the Man-Bat was beginning to make his presence known throughout the city. Batman investigates further and meets Langstrom's fiancée, Francine Lee. He pressures Francine into telling him what he needs to know and by doing so, learns that Langstrom is the Man-Bat. Batman and Francine track the Man-Bat down to Biochem, Ltd. where they find him stealing a vial of chemicals. Batman fights with him and during the conflict, the beaker breaks. This was Langstrom's only hope for returning to normal. Enraged, he dives out the window and flies off.
Blaming himself for shattering Langstrom's hopes for ever becoming human, the Batman returns to the Batcave wondering if he will ever encounter the elusive Man-Bat again.
Appearing in Animal Man: "The Myth of the Creation"
- Animal Man (Flashback and main story)
- Skipper the dog
Synopsis for Animal Man: "The Myth of the Creation"
In Africa, Animal Man test out his powers with his family—ever since the invasion and his exposure to the Gene Bomb, he cannot control his connection to the animal kingdom. Unbeknownst to him, the Yellow Aliens who grafted their experimental enhancements onto him are watching and will attempt to cure him. They have also noticed that during their slumber, a disruption of the space-time continuum has happened.
Ten years prior, the same aliens had manipulated him into being exposed to a strange radiation that allowed him to tap into The Red and absorb the abilities of other animals. They have come back to follow up on their experiment and will ensure that it does not go wrong.
- "The Secret Origin of Man-Bat" recaps events originally presented in Detective Comics #400.
- "The Myth of the Creation" storyline continues in Animal Man #10 and revises Strange Adventures #180.
- "The Myth of the Creation" is reprinted in Animal Man: Origin of the Species and Animal Man Omnibus.
- This issue theorizes 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.
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- Discuss Secret Origins Vol 2 39 on the forums
- Cover gallery for the Secret Origins series
- Animal Man Recommended Reading
- Man-Bat Recommended Reading