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Man-Bat Pt. 9: Man-Bat #2

Presenting the first chapter in the new life of fantasy’s most bizarre here – Man-Bat!

As Man-Bat gently flies in the skies above Chicago, he’s attacked by a costumed man wearing a jet pack. Thinking it’s an escape, Man-Bat dives into Lake Michigan…

On his swim to shore, Kirk Langstrom reflects on recent events…

Funny how moving to Chicago seemed like the right thing to do… at the time. Since I’ve had to temporarily put aside my crime-fighting “career”… I thought that in this city I could avoid some of the weirder problems of living in Gotham – so close to the Batman.

The Langstrom’s left Gotham City to find the treatment for Francine that only Landau Hospital could provide.

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When her returns home, Langstrom is met by friends and family throwing him a surprise party… and Francine beginning to transform when there isn’t even a full moon. What’s worse, the guy who tried to trap him is lurking outside Francine’s window.

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Langstrom takes a vial of serum and transforms into Man-Bat to face his foe. He learns that “in some insane way,” the bad guy sees with his fingers; so, when he throws a planter at him and he catches it, he becomes blind. In a two-and-a-half-page flashback, we learn why Phil Reardon, the Ten-Eyed Man, is out to get him:

Further, Lovell, the director of the Civil Liberties Association, encourages Reardon to apprehend Man-Bat so they can perform experiments that might help restore his vision.

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Man-Bat and the Ten-Eyed Man struggle on the rooftop…

A bomb falls from the ten-Eyed Man’s belt and when it explodes, he shields his face with his hands. Exposed to the flash of light, his fingers lose their ability to see and he stumbles off the roof to his death.


Notes

The letters page, Man-Mail Madness, appears on page eight, before the halfway point of the story, and brings good news and bad news…

The good news is that you’ll be assured a continued supply of Kirk Langstrom’s eerie adventure; the bad news is that these adventures won’t be taking place in his own magazine. Beginning in two months, Man-Bat will be a back feature in one of DC’s oldest and most prestigious titles – Detective Comics – under the capable hands of Julie Schwartz, Martin Pasko and Pablo Marcos.

Wow, I’ve seen titles cancelled fast, but after only two issues? It’s explained by:

…we launched Man-Bat in a market that couldn’t get enough of macabre heroes and monsters, and that’s changed since.

Really? In only two months? While this explanation doesn’t deny poor sales, it doesn’t satisfactorily provide a reason for those poor sales.

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Amid the action when Langstrom returns home, we meet some of his friends and family that we can assume will participate in future Pasko stories… wherever they appear: his younger sister, Britt, and her fiancée, Ted. We don’t learn much about them except that Britt makes a joke about how Langstrom is dressed.

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Finally, this is the first Man-Bat story that doesn't feature Batman. Issue #2 is the beginning of a new era for Kirk and Francine when they relocate to Chicago. Batman still hangs over Kirk's head, but it will be interesting to see if the story distances them even further.

Title: Man-Bat

Issue #: 2

Cover Date: Feb.-Mar., 1976

On Sale Date: Nov. 4, 1975

Writer(s): Martin Pasko

Pencils: Pablo Marcos

Inks: Ricardo Villamonte

Editor: Gerry Conway


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