DCAU #137: Windows to the Soul

IN THIS ONE... Man-Bat infiltrates the Bat-cave.

CREDITS: Written by Ty Templeton; art by Dev Madan and Rick Burchett.

REVIEW: The last time we saw Man-Bat, he was being blown-up along with other beast men in Dr. Dorian's lab. Turns out Man-Bat survived and that Dorian's serum gave the creature some measure of intelligence. It doesn't identify as Langstrom, but Langstrom's definitely in there. I'm surprised Robin doesn't know anything about Man-Bat (doesn't he read the files?), but regardless, Batman makes it clear the creature is "human" and that it should be left in peace at the end of the story.

Even if I'm happy to see the story progress, for me, the best part of the issue is everything before Man-Bat speaks. The creature is just a mysterious presence in the mansion and cave, spooking the heck out of Alfred and Robin. The jumpy Alfred is a hoot, and Bruce has some fun explaining away the "monster" he saw. And then there are some gorgeous shots of Man-Bat flying through the cave as the Dynamic Duo tries to catch it.

In the second half of the issue, the action isn't as well choreographed, and considering Batman almost gets beaten to death with a stalactite, I'm not sure he can be convinced of Langstrom's humanity from the fact that at some point, he went for the tranq gun and not the person holding it. There is some fudging here.
IN THE MAINSTREAM COMICS: There are many instances of the Man-Bat serum working differently and allowing Langstrom enough intelligence to work on the side of good.

REREADABILITY: Almost Medium-High - Advances a recurring character's story (who seems to have been abandoned by the show), and has a great first act. Loses something in the final fight.



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