Man-Bat Pt. 26: DC Comics Presents #35
“To the victor,” it is said, “belong the spoils!” And the bigger the prize to be claimed… the more dire the battle! Such is the case with the struggle that unites the Caped Kryptonian and the Chiropteran Crusader against a common enemy..
Returning film to S.T.A.R. Labs after completing the 11:00 report on WGBS-TV, Clark Kent is started when he witnesses Man-Bat crash into the window.
Superman helps Man-Bat escape. While he’s distracted, Man-Bat transforms back into Kirk Langstrom, but initially wants to keep his true identity a secret. Then, he changes his mind…
If you can’t be trusted, Superman… who can be?
Kirk explains that he’s looking for something that would save his daughter’s life. When Superman flies him to his hotel, they’re followed by a strange hovercraft piloted by Albert Michaels, aka the Atomic Skull, who blames Superman for time he’s spent in prison.
Superman believes a machine he recently found on an alien world may be able to help Rebecca, so he flies the family to the Fortress of Solitude, again followed by the Atomic Skull.
After claiming to be the first person to successfully break into Superman’s fortress (he’s not; Brainiac is)…
The Atomic Skull makes his hovercraft invisible and escapes, but Superman and Man-Bat team-up to catch them.
Some time later…
Back in the Fortress, we learn that Superman’s machine was able to cure Rebecca. For the first time in months, she’s sleeping like a normal, healthy child.
My wish came true and the story of Kirk Langstrom’s search for a cure for his daughter continues in DC Comics Presents #35. This is a true team-up story between Superman and Man-Bat that forgoes the trope of a misunderstanding that first causes a fight between them.
I’d like to think this is because of Superman. He first helps the trapped Man-Bat, then asks questions later. Then, he relies on the word of Batman, who told him about this “man that can assume a bat-like form.” And he respects Kirk’s initial impulse to keep his identity secret.
I like the art a little better than I did in Man-Bat’s last appearance in The Brave & the Bold. However, Curt Swan’s panels still focus on the action and not the characters. He does, though, give us a transformation panel:
Title: DC Comics Presents
Issue #: 35
Cover Date: July 1981
On Sale Date: Apr. 9, 1981
Writer(s): Martin Pasko
Penciller: Curt Swan
Inker: Vince Colletta
Editor: Julius Schwartz