Man-Bat Pt. 7: Brave & the Bold #119
The sport of kings kicks off this saga of rogues and renegades, murder and pursuit, as the Masked Manhunter and his old nemesis, the sinister and unique Man-Bat, battle horrendous odds to crush an octopus of crime, and settle once and for all their own deadly duel –
Part 1: Death Wears Polka Dots
When a hit is made at a horse race, Batman and Commissioner Gordon seem prepared...
When the wife of the murder victim offers a $100,000 reward, Batman fears that “eager-beaver bounty hunters” will interfere with his plan. Meanwhile…
Part 2: Island of Blood
Dropping into the ocean at night, Batman is mistaken for a sea creature that local fisherman want to spear. Man-Bat swoops in to save him.
Later, the two unintentionally reconvene in a cave near Krag’s fortress. Batman offers a compromise:
Now, what do you say we cut this crazy competing… and team up to get Killer Krag? I’ll see you get your fair share of credit!
Part 3: Wings of Vengeance
Batman and Man-Bat are both captured and locked in adjacent cages. Krag’s head of security turns on him, though, and instead of killing them immediately, wants to use them as pawns in a bigger game.
The next day, when the bad guys open Batman’s cage, planning to hunt him for sport, the hero flies out at them. Then:
It seems that Man-Bat passed Batman a vial of bat-gland serum to transform him into another Man-Bat! Skreek!
In Brave & the Bold #119, the Batman of the 70s has quite an ego. I’m not surprised that Kirk Langstrom is driven by a desire to be better than Batman, but I’m kind of surprised that Batman cares.
At the length of a full comic, there’s more to the story than outlined above. I described only plot points, but there is plenty of adventure and intrigue in between, especially when Man-Bat is attacked in the cave by… vampire bats.
This is the first time we’ve seen Jim Aparo draw Man-Bat. One of the most popular Batman artists, look how muscular he makes Man-Bat. Perhaps partially because it’s drawn from an angle we don’t normally see, Aparo makes the character formidable:
Title: Brave & the Bold
Issue #: 119
Cover Date: June, 1975
On Sale Date: March 18, 1975
Writer(s): Bob Haney
Art: Jim Aparo
Editor: Murray Boltinoff