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Villain Overview
Dear God. Is this what I have become? More animal than man. When will the surrender be complete?
~ Kirk Langstrom aka Man-Bat.

Kirk Langstrom, also known as Man-Bat, is a supervillain in DC Comics. He is a bat/human hybrid created through genetic splicing who most commonly serves as an enemy to Batman.

History

Backstory

My life hasn't exactly gone the way I planned. I Have a lot more to offer the world than losing my mind and trying to eat Batman... I was a respected scientist once... I thought, perhaps, if I could make some sense of this strangeness, they'd respect me again?
~ Kirk Langstrom aka Man-Bat.

Dr. Kirk Langstrom was a biologist specializing in bats. He had hoped to extract bat DNA to give human beings sonar as a cure for deafness. When he tested the serum on himself it did cure his deafness but it also turned him into a human/bat hybrid. Losing his basic human senses he went on a rampage in Gotham until stopped by Batman. Coming to like the power of his Man-Bat form. He took the serum again and gave some to his wife Francine Lagstrom, turning her into She-Bat. They attack Gotham together but were again stopped by Batman. However he does not seem to do intentional evil, because on occasion when he maintains his intelligence in his Man-Bat form he has done good. Examples include helping detective Jason Bard, and once helped Superman overcome kryptonite poisoning. Kirk and Francine had two children named Becky and Aaron. Aaron was born in a Man-Bat form due to lasting effects on Kirk and Francine's DNA.

New 52

Kirk’s origin and history was altered for the New 52. In this continuity, his wife Francine never truly loved Kirk and only married him to get her hands on the Man-Bat formula for her employer. After she finally obtained it, Francine used the formula on herself and went on a murderous crime spreed as She-Bat before Kirk confronted Francine about her deception. They both transformed and fought each other viciously before breaking off their relationship.

DC Rebirth

During DC Rebirth, Man-Bat has a cameo appearance as one of the many trials that Batman's apprentice Duke Thomas has faced in his training.

He later appeared in the "Watchmen" sequel "Doomsday Clock", where Man-Bat is featured on the news as an example of the "Superman Theory" where the government has been experimenting on humans to give them superpowers.

In the Justice League Dark comics, Man-Bat is ecstatic to have become the newest member of the team. Diana explians to Detective Chimp that her old friend, Etta, suggested that they take Langstrom aboard to help study the horribly mutated bodies from A.R.G.U.S.. Langstrom wishes to redeem himself for his past misdeeds by using his scientific know-how to do good for other people, despite currently having the body of a man and the head of a bat.

POWERS AND ABILITIES

  • Transformation: Upon injection of the Man-Bat Serum, Langstrom can transform himself into a half-human/half-bat creature. Once the serum wears off, the Man-Bat returns back to human form. After years of exposure to the serum, Langstrom is able to transform at will
    • Flight: Man-Bat can fly by way of artificially generated leather wings.
    • Claws: The Man-Bat has sharpened claws which are strong enough to easily tear through flesh and muscle.
    • Echolocation: Man-Bat can navigate through the air by way of echolocation, similar in function to a bat's radar.
    • Sound Manipulation: Man-Bat is able to create sonic waves that stun people nearby him.
    • Animal Empathy: Man-Bat was able to empathically reach out to local bats and ask them for their help, after which they organized and swarmed his targets.
    • Enhanced Strength:Man-Bat has an enhanced level of physical strength. 

In Other Media

Batman the Animated Series

Man- Bat

Man-Bat in Batman the Animated Series.

Man-Bat appears in Batman the Animated Series as a zoologist at Gotham City Zoo. Dr. Langstrom had hoped to mix human and animal DNA to create a new species. However he could not control himself in this form and he went on a rampage, (which Batman was blamed for due to a similar appearance). Man-Bat was stopped and eventually cured.

However his wife Francine was unwillingly exposed to the formula in another episode and transformed into She-bat. Dr. Langstrom and Batman worked together to return her to normal.

Professor Milo later used Dr. Langstrom's research for his work at Project Cadmus.

The Batman

Man-Bat (The Batman)

Man-Bat in The Batman.

Man-Bat also appears in The Batman as a more villainous character. In this version, Dr. Langstrom worked for Wayne Enterprises and had an obsession with Batman. Disguising his research as a cure for deafness, he was actually preparing a serum to give him bat powers. Batman managed to defeat him and he was sent to Arkham. Later in the series Penguin used a sonar device to mentally control Langstrom in his Man-Bat form to commit robberies for him. Batman managed to stop them both. Eventually Langstrom renounced his criminal ways and helped Batman defeat the Terrible Trio who had stolen mutagen from Langstrom to get powers of their own.

Batman: The Brave and the Bold

Man-Bats appear in Batman: The Brave and the Bold. In the episode "Last Bat on Earth!", Batman travels to the future to stop Gorilla Grodd now leading the apes. When Batman goes into the Batcave with Kamandi and Dr. Canus, humanoid "Man-Bats" are encountered that can talk like the rest of the humanoid animals. Batman and Kamandi manage to drive the Man-Bats out after defeating their leader. The Man-Bats later assist Batman in an all-out war against the apes, having gained respect for the Dark Knight.

Beware The Batman

Beware-the-batman-manbat

As seen in Beware The Batman.

Man-Bat appears in the episode "Doppelganger" where Kirk Langstrom is working on a cure for diseases using bat DNA. However, Professor Pyg and Mr. Toad use the DNA on him which turns him into Man-Bat. They then use a drugged collar to control him and he goes on a rampage throughout Gotham. Batman subdues him and removes them collar which frees him. Langstrom then tells Batman and Katana how Pyg and Toad plan to use his work to create an army of hybrid creatures. The three of them head to Pyg's hideout and free their hostages. While Batman fought Pyg, Katana and Man-Bat fought Toad who was able to reattach the collar to Man-Bat. Toad uses him to capture Katana and attack Batman. He and Batman fight each other until Batman is able to pry off the collar and the two of them catch Pyg and Toad who are later arrested. Batman then convinces Langstrom to continue his research to help him and other people. Langstrom accepts and leaves Batman before he could be seen by the police.

In this show he is voiced by Robin Atkin Downes.

Gotham

See article: Tweaker

A character loosely based on Man-Bat, credited as Tweaker, appears in the DC television series Gotham. He made his first appearance in the third season premiere "Better to Reign in Hell...", as a member of Fish Mooney's monster gang. He later reappears in a brief cameo in the fourth season finale "No Man's Land".

Film

  • A Crime Syndicate of America version named She-Bat briefly appears in Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths as one of Superwoman's henchmen. This version is a amalgamation of Man-Bat, Catwoman and Francine Langstrom.
  • Kirk Langstrom and the Man-Bat Commandos appear in Son of Batman. At the beginning, Langstrom works for Ra's al Ghul in an attempt to create a Man-Bat army to strengthen the League of Assassins. Kirk was also behind the mutagen that Killer Croc empowered himself with where he had sprouted a tail. After the death, Deathstroke recruits him to continue his work, taking his wife Francine Langstrom and their daughter Rebecca (voiced by Kari Wahlgren) as hostages to create the Man-Bat formulas. When Batman finds a lead in Langstrom's lab, a mutated ape that was living there attacked. All three are later rescued by Batman and Damian Wayne. While the mutagen is complete by then, Langstrom creates enough antidote to stop the Man-Bats.
  • Kirk Langstrom/Man-Bat appears in Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts. This version was working on a serum to help the deaf and blind, but accidentally turned himself into Man-Bat. The Penguin used this new form to his advantage, giving Langstrom cures in exchange for the Man-Bat's help with crimes and Langstrom creating robotic animals. He appears as part of the Penguin's animalitia. Red Robin manages to get Langstrom's mind to surface in Man-Bat, allowing him to help with defeating the Penguin and defending Gotham against the Midas meteor. By flying into the beam powering the shield, Man-Bat was able to burn out the formula's remains, turning him back into his human form.
  • A parallel world version appears as "Batman" in Justice League: Gods and Monsters. This version of Kirk Langstrom developed vampire-like abilities upon consuming a serum to cure his cancer, with Doctor Will Magnus carrying out additional research to develop a further cure for his transformation after providing Kirk with nanites to help perfect Kirk's cure without waiting to carry out additional tests. Kirk was also in love with his friend's wife Tina Magnus, which resulted in Magnus accidentally beating Tina to death in a fit of rage once realizing Tina loved Kirk. Batman works together with the other Justice League members Superman (Hernan Guerra) and Wonder Woman (Bekka of New Genesis) when Magnus attempted to frame the three in order to fulfill plans of injecting everyone in the world with nanites to make humanity work as a collective. When the fight is over and the regretful and remorseful Magnus destroyed himself, he and Superman use Kryptonian data to help humanity while mourning over the loss of his best friend and love interest.
  • Man-Bat appears in direct-to-video animated film Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League: Attack of the Legion of Doom, with vocal effects provided by Dee Bradley Baker. He is among the villains that audition for a spot on the Legion of Doom. Man-Bat, the Penguin and the Joker are eliminated because of Lex Luthor's claims that the Legion of Doom doesn't have any extra parking spots at their headquarters.
  • Kirk Langstrom appears in Batman Unlimited: Mechs vs. Mutants.
  • Man-Bat makes an appearance in The Lego Batman Movie.

Video games

  • The Super NES video game version of The Adventures of Batman & Robin features Man-Bat as an enemy character. He spoke in this game.
  • Man-Bat is a boss and playable character in Lego Batman. He is an enemy of Batman, a follower of the Penguin and the fourth boss of Chapter 2 "Power-Crazed Penguin". In the game, he possesses super strength and the ability to glide using his wings. In the Nintendo DS version, Man-Bat is an unlockable character through the "Villain Hunt" minigame. He appears with the Penguin and Catwoman on a riverboat when he sees Batman and Robin. He hides inside when they look for the Penguin. He drops from the roof behind Robin and covers himself with his wings like a vampire then unfolds them to reveal himself, starting the boss fight. He glides from one end of the room to the other dropping bombs. The player needs to build a phonograph to play loud music that stuns him. When he is defeated, Batman and Robin shake him up and spin him around, causing him to get wrapped up in his wings, unable to free himself. At the end of the game, he is seen in Arkham Asylum reading the newspaper upside-down. He is one of two villain bosses that has to be purchased from the Batcomputer after he's defeated in order to be playable--the other being the Mad Hatter.
  • Man-Bat appears in Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes. He appears as a boss fight at Gotham Cathedral and an unlockable character. He is now capable of actual flight rather than just gliding and he now has sonar.
  • Man-Bat appears as a playable character in Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham. He has his own side-quest where the player has to help him get an ingredient he needs to complete a formula.
  • Man-Bat appears as a playable character in Lego DC Super-Villains, via the "Batman: The Animated Series Level Pack" DLC.

Batman: Arkham Knight

Man-Bat Arkham
Main article: Man-Bat (Arkhamverse)

The Man-Bat is a minor antagonist in the Batman: Arkham Knight side mission, "Creature of the Night". Genetic physicist, Dr. Kirk Langstrom, was working on a cure for deafness by mixing his DNA with a vampire bat. Unfortunately, he was transformed into Man-Bat and killed his wife, Francine, in the process. Batman got a sample of Langstrom's blood and synthesized a cure in his lab. After two attempts to get the Man-Bat to get cured, Batman finally turned Langstrom back to normal and took him to GCPD to get locked up in an isolated cell for protection. Langstrom asked about his wife, and Batman told him that she died from the Man-Bat's rampage, which left Langstrom devastated over his wife's death.

Quotes

I did this, Batman. This is my fault. I created the Man-Bat Serum. And It's my responsibility to fix it.
~ Man-Bat
This is my formula. I can control it. And I will.
~ Man-Bat
Each of these drawers contains mysteries with no answers, and secrets beyond comprehension. Hmmm... you'd like to hear one, wouldn't you? One of the encounters with the Otherkind. If I were in your shoes, I know I'd be deadly curious.
~ Man-Bat

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Movies
Batman (1989): Joker | Bob Hawkins | Alicia Hunt | Carl Grissom | Max Eckhardt | Vinnie Ricorso
Batman Returns: Penguin | Max Shreck | Catwoman | Charles "Chip" Shreck | Red Triangle Circus Gang (Organ Grinder, Poodle Lady, Tattooed Strongman, Stungun Clown, Thin Clown, Fat Clown, Sword Swallower & Knifethrower Dame)
Batman Forever: Riddler | Two-Face | Sugar & Spice | NygmaTech (Frogmen) | Neon Gang (Neon Gang Leader) | Salvatore Maroni
Batman & Robin: Poison Ivy | Mr. Freeze | Bane | Snowy Cones Thugs | Golums | Jason Woodrue
Batman Begins: Ra's al Ghul | League of Shadows (Scarecrow & Ra's Decoy) | Carmine Falcone | Victor Zsasz | Joe Chill
The Dark Knight: Joker | Two-Face | Sal Maroni | The Chechen | Gambol | Lau | Bank Manager | Michael Wuertz | Joker's Thugs (Thomas Schiff, Chuckles, Kilson, Bus Driver, Happy, Dopey & Grumpy & Truck Driver) | Burmese Bandit
The Dark Knight Rises: Bane | Talia al Ghul | League of Shadows (Barsad) | Catwoman | John Daggett
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: Lex Luthor | Doomsday | Anatoli Knyazev