This week from DC Comics we get Manbat 3 of 5. This series puts a new spin on Langstrom and the Manbat. Manbat usually gets played as a maniacal bat bent on evil, but this issue really turns Langstrom into a good man with intentions he fails to reign in. Manbat becomes a much more tragic character in this series. In many ways it proves to old adage – Scientists often ask if they can do something and forget to ask if they should do something. This issue also proves one needs to see the right Doctor, or you could be in real trouble.
Last issue, Harley manages to do what the rest of the Suicide Squad could not. She takes down Manbat, but instead of handing him over to Waller, Harley drags him off to safety. Harley ties him down and goes psychiatrist on Kirk. This seems to be an ongoing theme with the new Harley Quinn. Where others see black and white, Harley sees where a person goes wrong and tries to help them fix what they have done. She talks Kirk down and manages to reverse the Manbat state. She tells Kirk he has one more chance ‘from her’. If he doesn’t fix things she will kill him. Harley seems to be the doctor you want on your side.
Meanwhile, Kirk’s wife, Francine, gets a house call from the wrong type of doctor, Doctor Jonathan Crane – Scarecrow. It appears Crane thinks his fear gas is a little too old school and he wants to upgrade to the Langstrom sonic cannon to manipulate the mind. He tries to gas Francine, except she turns out to be stronger than the gas he uses. She lashes out at Scarecrow until a soldier hits her in the head with his rifle butt.
See the Right Doctor – Family Can Be Medicine too
Kirk heads to the only place he has left, his sister Lisa. Her deafness started Kirk down his obsessive path. He thought he needed to cure her, but instead drove her away. It takes some smooth talking before Lisa finally lets Kirk back into her life. It probably helps when he tells her he is dying.
For a time things seem to work out. Lisa and Kirk grow closer and are almost back to family form, when Kirk thinks he found the cure for the deafness he caused. He just needs a test subject, and this is where everything blows up in Kirk’s face -literally. Lisa becomes offended and blows up at Kirk for being nothing more than a test subject. At the same time, Kirk hears the danger mere seconds before the side of the house blows off. Scarecrow sure knows how to make an entrance. Manbat makes a good fight of it, but Scarecrow is ready for him.
What Scarecrow does next is downright sick. He uses his tech to trap both Langstroms in a mental prison. He convinces them they are living in a false utopia where their marriage is perfect. Together Kirk and Francine work together, unknowingly giving Scarecrow the mind gun he wants. Francine managed to hit a bat-alarm before capture, so it looks like the only way out may rest in the hands of Batman, or possibly Harley.
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