published by DC Comics
first appeared in
Detective Comics #400
Kirk Langstrom was a zoologist who specialized in the the study of
bats. Over his years of studying, Langstrom had come to believe that an
extract from bats could be used to endow people who were struck with blindness
the ability to use a bat-like sonar to "see." Langstrom pursued his idea,
eventually creating a formula that he thought would work.
Like all good scientists, Langstrom decided to cut corners and test the formula
on a human subject. Langstrom gave himself the formula and found that instead
just giving him the bat's sonar, it also gave him a bat-like appearance, huge
leathery wings, fangs and a penchant for mayhem. If Langstrom had been in
Cleveland or St. Louis, he might have been stuck in this form for a very long
time, but Langstrom worked in Gotham City and so quickly came into conflict with
Gotham's defender, Batman.
Langstrom, who in this form was called Man-Bat, and Batman clashed a number
of times, until Batman used his skill in chemistry to create an antidote. Batman
was able to administer the cure and return Langstrom to his human form.
Langstrom eventually refined the formula and used it for a time to be a crimefighter
as well, but eventually gave up on that to live a normal life.