Batman:The Animated Series Wiki

"I knew we've discovered a formula to create a totally new species, neither man nor bat. Once I started taking it, I couldn't stop. I desperately wanted to, but it took over."
―Dr. Kirk Langstrom[src]

Scientist Kirk Langstrom worked as a Zoologist at the Gotham City Zoo, experimenting with bat mutagen to create a serum to replicate the creatures' long life. After testing the serum on himself, Langstrom became the vicious Man-Bat.


Langstrom worked at the Gotham Zoo where he met colleague Francine March whom he would later marry. While working at the zoo, Langstrom ascribed to his father-in-law Dr. March's theories of bat evolution. Believing bats to possess the capability to make the next evolutionary step (a capability humans lacked), Langstrom set to work creating a formula that would allow humans to make this jump as well.[1]

A Real Bat[]

On Leather Wings 34 - Transformation

Langstrom transforms into Man-Bat

Langstrom developed a serum strong enough to change humans into animal-like creatures and after a while he managed to create a formula to becoma a Man-Bat. However, he needed many components to create the formula and Langstrom began stealing the chemicals. In a city as crime-laden as Gotham, Man-Bat was able to steal with relative ease. It wasn't until he assaulted a guard during a robbery that he attracted the attention of the Gotham Police Force. However, Luck was on Langstrom's side; District Attorney Harvey Dent and Detective Harvey Bullock mistook the crime spree for the actions of Batman.
After a series of incidents related to a mysterious bat creature, Batman arrived at his office in the zoo and questions him about his connection. Langstrom, who has already taken the formula, reveals himself as the thief of the serum from the chemical labs. Langstrom transforms into Man-Bat and turns on Batman.

On Leather Wings 49 - Batman fights Man-Bat

Man-Bat fights Batman

Francine arrives at the lab and discovers that the creature is her husband. After a brief encounter with Batman, Man-Bat is subdued and taken to the Batcave, where Batman finds a cure and reverts the transformation permanently.[1]

When Selina Kyle is kidnapped by Emile Dorian, Batman visits Langstrom to learn more about Dorian's experiments and to find a way to revert the mutations he created.[2]

Later, Langstrom fears that he might be transforming into Man-Bat once again. Trying to find a cure for his problem, Kirk isolates himself in his laboratory, forcing Francine to leave him. However, when Batman runs some tests of Langstrom's blood, he learns that Kirk is not transforming into the Man-Bat, but instead, it is Francine, who was accidentally infected. Kirk manages to find Francine before she leaves Gotham and tries to convince her to stay, but she transforms into "She-Bat" and drags Kirk to the top of a bridge, where Batman provides an antidote for her transformation and reverts the process. After this, Francine and Kirk are finally free from the Man-Bat curse.[3]

Powers and Abilities[]

When human, Langstrom is a scientist. His focus is in the area of bats, but he also specializes in genetic mutation, particularly DNA splicing.

As Man-Bat, however, Langstrom exhibits characteristics to both man and bat. His strength vastly increases, and he gains the ability to fly. However, his body undergoes a significant mutation, and he appears as a hulking monster. Fortunately, effects of the mutation do not seem to linger when the transformation wears off eventually.


Video Games[]