- Man-Bat is back in Gotham City with a new name: the Bat, along with a darker outlook on life. He believes that Batman has corrupted Gotham and wants to “save” the city.
- Man-Bat reveals that he can’t be truly killed, as he has pumped his body full of so many chemicals that he no longer has to worry about death.
- Kirk Langstrom, the scientist behind the Man-Bat serum, has transformed into a new incarnation that promises a new level of antagonism. Batman may have to face this new villain without any hope of redeeming the fallen villain once again.
Warning! Contains Spoilers For Batman and Robin #4!
Many of the foes faced by Batman and Robin over the years have spent time as heroic, or at least anti-heroic characters, making it all the more tragic when they return to their villainous ways – as recently happened with Man-Bat, a Gotham rogue previously thought dead, who returned not only to life, but with a new, more concise alias: the Bat.
Batman and Robin #4 – by Joshua Williamson, Mikel Janin, Simone Di Meo, Jeromy Cox, Romulo Fajardo Jr, and Steve Wands – featured Man-Bat’s shocking return, revealing his new moniker in the process. In the issue, Batman and Robin have been attacked and manipulated by a shadowy new villain named Shush, but it doesn’t seem like Shush is the one pulling the strings.
As Batman and Robin push further and further into the mystery, they are confronted by Kirk Langstrom, Man-Bat, who has seemingly revived after being killed. Kirk explains that he has pumped his body full of so many chemicals over the years that he no longer has to worry about death.
Batman has one of the greatest rogues gallery in all comic books, but with a rogues gallery so large, it’s expected to forget a few here or there.
Man-Bat Reveals That He Can’t Be Truly Killed
Man-Bat has long been one of Batman’s most tragic rogues. Man-Bat never intended to become a villain, he simply wanted to find a cure for deafness, but this resulted in him accidentally turning himself into a giant bat, subsequently rampaging across Gotham. Kirk would later regain his human senses and be able to use his Man-Bat persona to fight for good, which he did in Justice League Dark, and as one of Batman’s allies at times. Unfortunately, Man-Bat was killed in a heroic sacrifice and his tale seemed to end there. But not only is Man-Bat back in Gotham City, he’s gotten a new name and seemingly a new outlook on life.
Man-Bat first appeared in 1970’s Detective Comics #400. He was created by Julius Schwartz, Frank Robbins, and Neal Adams.
Man-Bat has shortened his name to “the Bat,” claiming that Batman has corrupted Gotham, and that only one true Bat can save the city. The Bat has turned Batman’s symbol against him and is intent on taking both Batman and Robin out of the picture, so he can “save” Gotham City. It’s not exactly clear what The Bat intends to save Gotham from, or even how, but considering that the Bat seems to be a far darker version of the Man-Bat he used to be, it’s likely not going to be pretty for anyone involved. Kirk Langstrom is an expert scientist, and his Man-Bat serum has caused issues for decades. Left to his own devices, he could easily come up with something far worse.
Kirk Langstrom’s New Incarnation Promises A New Level Of Antagonism
Plenty of Batman’s villains have tried to be heroes in the decades they’ve been in Gotham City, but almost none of them did it as well as Kirk Langstrom. In Justice League Dark, Kirk helped save the world from the Upside-Down Man. He has been a force for good for a long time now, which is why his return to villainy is so shocking to long-time Batman readers. Even more concerning is the fact the Bat states that Kirk Langstrom is gone forever, meaning Batman might just have to fight this new villain with no hope of redemption for his old friend.
Batman and Robin #4 is on sale now from DC Comics!
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