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Man-Bat Pt. 10: Detective Comics #458

When her sister-in-law, Britt, discovers Francine strapped to her bed, she wonders…

What kind of a monster would do such a thing to his own wife?!

Kirk returns just in time… Francine transforms and knocks out Britt. He quickly snatches a sheet from the bed…

Then, “from a sinister elsewhere – through most mystical means,” a mystery magician or sorcerer uses a “mystic clapper” to ring the “devil-bell.” Francine suddenly becomes the she-bat again and flies out the window.


Kirk tells his sister to steel herself for what she’s about to see…

Inside, the villain identifies himself as Dr. Thanatogenos and reveals that he has turned Francine into a stone statue… a gargoyle.




Man-Bat’s first story as a backup in Detective Comics is only six pages long (Batman’s is 13.) Considering it includes a three-panel recap of the story so far, there’s not a lot of story. However, a lot happens and it’s action-packed. I liken it to an episode of a chapter serial, and this one certainly leaves us with a cliffhanger.


For those who need a reminder of Kirk Langstrom’s origin as Man-Bat, and what has brought him and his wife, Francine, to this moment in time, here are the three points writer Martin Pasko is going to use:

  1. Determined to fight crime like the Batman, Kirk experimented with a bat-gland serum.

  2. The formula had a side effect.

  3. Francine turned herself into a she-bat to marry Kirk, but she was then bitten by a vampire bat in Las Vegas and cannot control her transformations.

I love the transformation sequences, by the way; I’ll probably always include them with the images in my posts. I might even include them twice:

Sweet and simple. A six-page Man-Bat story once a month is better than no Man-Bat story at all. And the character holds some nice real estate in the upper right-hand corner of the cover:


Title: Detective Comics

Issue #: 458

Cover Date: April, 1976

On Sale Date: Jan. 29, 1976

Writer(s): Martin Pasko

Pencils: Pablo Marcos

Inks: Tex Blaisdell

Editor: Julius Schwartz

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