This week’s DC Comics slate brings us Manbat 2 of 5. Kirk Langstrom continues to struggle with his serum, and this issue starts off with this very issue. Langstrom’s story really is a story of good intentions gone horribly wrong. In many ways his story parallels the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
This issue kicks off with a bit of backstory. The whole genesis to the bat-serum centered on Kirk’s sister, Lisa. She is deaf, and Kirk simply wants to fix everything. He tells his future wife, Francine, he wanted to make her life better, but of course it turns into a compulsion. He must fix this problem. HE shares this story to his girlfriend (soon to be wife) on the rooftop where he and Lisa used to sit with their father, the few times he carved time out for them. HE even points out his favorite animal as it flies by, the bat.
Then the comic cuts to modern day Kirk where it shows his compulsion in full tilt. Kirk dissects another of a multitude of bats, looking for the cure to both his transformation problem and his sister’s hearing. In the end he really means well, but the obsession angle takes over and he forgets that sometime you just need to stop.
Manbat 2 of 5 – Enter Traffic Control
As often happens when you can’t stop yourself, someone else will step in and do it for you, in this case – Suicide Squad. The core members, Deadshot, Harley, Boomerang, and Killer Croc try to take down Langstrom after the make him turn back into Manbat. The rest of the issue is Manbat vs the boys.
He manages to clean their proverbial clocks, but two things keep the fight interesting. The first is the Squad itself. This issue does a good job bringing out the different personalities in the Squad, and that can be entertaining enough. The better part, though, is Langstrom himself. He may transform into Manbat, but the Langstrom mind is still active inside. The whole time we get to listen to his internal monologue. He still tries to do the right thing. It’s just hard when the right thing isn’t quite right, and you have a squad of cons trying to take you down.
Of course, Harley is always doing her own thing and stays lost in her own universe. She joins the fight at the very end and surprises Manbat as he tries to gather his things. She cold cocks him with her hammer, and then drags his unconscious form outside. You would think she would turn him over, but instead she takes him off somewhere and prepares to play head shrink once more. In typical Harley – “Who’s your healthcare provider?”
The Squad alone makes this a fun little issue. We still do not know where this title is headed, but its been an entertaining ride so far. What did you think of Batman 2 of 5? Head over to DC Fanatics and tell us what stood out to you.