A short-lived — but memorable — pairing of artist and character…
UPDATED 10/1/21: Michael Golden was born 66 years ago! Perfect time to re-present this piece from 2019. And if you’d like to see this year’s 13 COVERS salute — starring The Micronauts — click here. Dig it. — Dan
Remember when Man-Bat was a private eye? I do. And I loved it.
Today, most readers think of Kirk Langstrom’s alter ego pretty much as he was originally developed by Neal Adams and Frank Robbins in 1970 — as an out-of-control monster who bedevils Batman.
But there was this short, entertaining period in the late ’70s — in the waning issues of the always awesome Batman Family — where, thanks to writer Bob Rozakis, Man-Bat was recast as a financially struggling crimefighter/private detective whose best buddy was Jason Bard and who, along with his wife Francine, was adjusting to life as a new parent.
It looked great too. Check out a few of the artists who worked on the feature: Marshall Rogers, Don Newton and Michael Golden.
Not that you need proof, but dig this spread by Golden, inked by Josef Rubinstein, from Batman Family #20:
As it turns out, Michael Eury, the editor of Back Issue magazine, is a huge fan of Golden’s Man-Bat and he has a fun story to tell in the upcoming Issue #116 — the “Superheroes vs. Monsters” edition. (Halloween’s next month, yo.):
Now, we routinely run EXCLUSIVE EXCERPTS from Back Issue, and this one had lots of material to choose from.
Take a peek at the table of contents:
But as I scanned through the issue, I kept coming back to Eury’s opening column, which featured this fantastic image of Man-Bat by Golden, originally published in one of the later versions of Who’s Who:
It brought back such good memories of those Batman Family days, that I decided to present to you Eury’s piece as this issue’s 13th Dimension excerpt.
So check it out — and make sure you check out the full issue when it’s released Sept. 25. (You can get it at your local comics shop or directly through TwoMorrows. Click here.)
— NEAL ADAMS Discusses the Creation of MAN-BAT. Click here.
— BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES Director Kevin Altieri Talks ON LEATHER WINGS. Click here.