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Man-Bat Pt. 24: Detective Comics #492

Ever been stuck in a traffic jam when you wished you could get out of your car or off your bus, sprout a pair of wings and fly home?

Kirk Langstrom has just done that very thing!

But Francine and Rebecca are not home; in fact, his wife is an hour and a half late! Kirk then hears about a subway train that entered a tunnel and never came out. He pops a pill and flies into action.


Sure enough, his family is on the train, which has been blocked and attacked by a giant rat.

After running it back where it came from, Man-bat comments:

Whew! Even if rats and bats are cousins, I’m glad I didn’t have to play Family Feud with that thing!



Seven issues since Man-bat last appeared in its pages, Detective Comics #492 looks a little different. For one thing, the ads are back, but a starburst on the cover still declares:

More pages for your money!

The logo also doesn’t consume as much real estate, letting the artwork wrap around it at the top left-hand side.


Inside, the art for the Man-bat story by Romeo Tanghal and Vince Colletta is terrific! They provide not one, but two, of those transformation panels that I love:

This must be a previously-unused story because Captain Daniels refers to Man-bat as a reward-seeking bounty hunter. One can hope that his stint as a private detective was all a bad dream. That doesn’t quite fit, though, because Rebecca is suddenly old enough to be talking! Oops; correction… the final panel shows Kirk sitting in the Private Investigations office. Well, at least he got a real adventure and not a lame surveillance case.


Finally, the story has an odd, Kolchak: the Night Stalker one-page epilogue. In six panels, it explains how no one believed the story of a giant rat, yet the tunnel was “walled up” the next day, anyway. I’ll take Kolchak-like narration over cliched gumshoe narration any day.


Title: Detective Comics

Issue #: 492

Cover Date: July 1980

On Sale Date: April 24, 1980

Writer(s): Bob Rozakis

Penciller: Romeo Tanghal

Inker: Vince Colletta

Editor: Paul Levitz

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