I knew he discovered a formula to create a totally new species, neither man nor bat.
When I think of Batman, two things come to mind instantly. First, Michael Keaton as Batman and Batman: The Animated Series.
Batman: The Animated Series came out in the ’90s, when children’s television was perfect. It was one of the best animated shows in the history of TV. One of my absolute favorite things about it is how they blend three different styles to create this artistic and amazing work. We have the Art Deco movement of the 1920s-30s, the 1940s outfits and clothing, blended with the technology of the ’90s and beyond (seriously, some of the things they created in this are things we actually have today!)
So this is the “first episode” in the series, but not the first one shown. It was the first one made but was actually aired later because of the popularity of Batman Returns, them going with the episode The Cat and the Claw as it had to do with Selena Kyle.
So while this isn’t the most famous episode, the best written, etc; I liked it and it fit one of the themes we had going this year. The real name of the episode is actually On Leather Wings, but I liked Man-Bat better.
So the first part of this episode is the amazing opening.
We open on Phoenix Pharmaceuticals. The night watchman of course, isn’t paying any attention. He’s trying to make a tryout tape for a radio program. All of a sudden he is attacked!
We, the viewer, are unable to see what this creature is. All we see is a shadow, that resembles something like a….Bat!
NO not him…that movie were he and Batman meet was kinda weird.
NO not him either.
Definitely not him. But everyone thinks it is. Who else could have gotten in and loves bats as much as him?
Officer Bullock hates Batman and is all set to do anything to take him down. The commissioner, on the other hand, doesn’t want to destroy Batman, he thinks that he does good (even though he does technically break the law by being a vigilante.)
However, the mayor sees it as best to get rid of him and gives Bullock full backup. Harvey Dent also agrees if they can get the evidence and the Batman; he will do it.
Things are looking grim for the Caped Crusader, everyone is going to be on his tail.
So Batman starts investigating. The first thing he does, it head out to the Pharmaceutical company to do some research. As he looks around with his special goggles, he spots a hair, strange. After some more thorough digging, he also finds the tape recorder, which not only caught the guard but the sounds of whatever attacked him.
As he is searching around, Bullock comes with a whole contingent of SWAT. Man when the mayor says he’s got your back, he means it.
So Bullock comes in and pretty much blows up the lab with his trigger happy ways. Thank goodness for Batman, or they would all be dead right now.
Commissioner Gordon comes by and relays that while Bullock was pretty much wiping out his own men; another company was being robbed. It clearly is not Batman. But we already knew that, I mean come on. It’s Batman!
As Bruce Wayne is an amazing scientist, with technology that most only dreams of, he still isn’t the leader in the study of bats and heads out to visit a Dr. March.
He tells the doctor that he has a “bat issue”:
Dr. March: You donate a few million and you think you own the place. I understand I’m the analyze something for you.
Bruce Wayne: Yeah, doc. See, I keep hearing squeaks in my chimney.
[Hands Dr. March a small plastic sandwich bag]
Bruce Wayne: And I found these in my empty fireplace. They look like hairs. I thought maybe you could tell me if I have a bat problem.
Dr. March: And what if they are bats, Mr. Wayne? What then? Destroy them like insects? We won’t survive the next evolutionary cataclysm, but bats will! They’re survivors, Mr. Wayne, not pests! You should understand that!
I think he loves bats a little too much.
However, a beautiful blonde doctor rescues Bruce, Dr. Francine Langstrom, his daughter. She is followed by her husband Dr. Kirk, who assures Bruce that they can help him. Kirk acts kind of weird too…
Maybe it runs in the family? Francine could be the exception.
Anyways, later Dr. Langstrom calls Bruce and tells him that they ran the hair and that it is a regular old brown bat, and the noise on the tape a combo of bats and birds.
Just the usual.
Except, unbeknownst to Dr. Langstrom, Batman already ran the hair follicle and the sounds through the computer and no match came up. He the tape again, under combined noises, but no match.
Meanwhile, we see someone burning the evidence of the tape and the hair. We already know both doctors are crazy, maybe even Francine (nicely rounding out to three), but which could be behind this? And why?
Batman also figures out that the answer lies in the lab and takes off.
Batman reaches the lab and finds things from Phoenix Pharmaceuticals. He searches for Dr. March to apprehend him, but runs into Dr. Langstrom.
Dr. Kirk Langstrom: Who’s back there? [Batman steps out of the shadows] You.
Batman: I’m looking for Dr. March.
Dr. Kirk Langstrom: He’s not here, Batman.
Batman: Where is he?
Dr. Kirk Langstrom: Giving a lecture on human extinction and bat evolution. He’s really quite brilliant.
Batman: [holding up a stolen chemical] He’s misguided and a thief.
Dr. Kirk Langstrom: He’s just a theorist. He was afraid to put it to the test. But I wasn’t. I knew he discovered a formula to create a totally new species, neither man nor bat. And once I started taking it, I couldn’t stop.
Yep Kirk is the Man-Bat
Batman asks him why he didn’t stop, but Dr. Langstrom said he couldn’t.
And he enjoyed it. Like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; he got a little taste and can’t give it up. He’s addicted and can’t stop, turning into….the Man-Bat.
He only needs one more component to stay that way forever, and he’s out to get it.
You know what that means for Batman.
Batman Vs. Man-Bat
Batman and the Man-Bat are fighting in the sky, as Batman has hooked on to him. As they struggle, Commissioner Gordon and Officer Bullock heads up in a chopper to try and get him.
They manage to get away from the police and Batman knocks him out.
He takes him back to the lab, and Batman uses it to fix Dr. Langstrom and heals him of the drug. How you may ask? Two words:
Batman can do anything.
To start Horrorfest IV from the beginning, go to You Cannot Conquer It. It Has Conquered You!: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)
For the previous post, go to And Then There Was Two: A Study in Scarlet (1933)
For more on Batman, go to Na Na Na Na Batman!
For more on mad scientists, go to We’re Mad Scientists. We’re Monsters: Avengers, Age of Ultron (2015)