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 Micronautsclick 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.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. Wow! Thanks for sharing this! I just ordered a physical copy of this issue. I didn’t know that they still published interesting comic magazines.
    I love finding old Man-Bat comics. I read DC Comics Presents #35 last night, actually. I guess I was in a Man-Bat mood!

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    • Back Issue is the best around! But also try TwoMorrows’ Alter Ego and RetroFan! Plus, the Jack Kirby Collector!

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    • Pretty much, anything Twomorrows publishes is gold!

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  2. Those Man-Bat stories from BATMAN FAMILY were recently reprinted in
    “Legends of the Dark Knight: Michael Golden”.
    A slim volume but well worth reading.

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  3. I love the BatFam era Man-Bat, my favorite iteration of the character. i was so disappointed when they made him Batman’s adversary again. I want the two issues of his solo comic and the BatFam/’Tec run collected.

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  4. One of my favourite stories from my childhood. So great to see it again. And that image of Batman! Amazing!

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