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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.

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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.

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Notes

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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.

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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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