September 28, 2020
My version of Man-Bat is a good guy
I had a story idea that turned out to be not as original as I thought, but I still think it’s worth exploring: Man-Bat.
After coming up with the idea, I heard it mentioned on The Big Bang Theory. So I looked it up, and sure enough DC Comics already has this character — a deranged scientist who takes a potion and turns into a bat with a man’s head. He causes all kinds of mayhem despite Batman’s efforts to help him. His wife eventually joins in as She-Bat.
But this is not at all what I had in mind.
In my story, hundreds of years in the future, an Earth astronaut goes to a planet inhabited by an intelligent species descended from bat-like creatures — just like humans are descended from ape-like creatures.
These bat people have built a civilization to about the same level as we had in the 1950s. They have a written language, transportation, cities — and, of course, crime.
One of them lives in a city where crime is especially bad, and decides to go on a crusade to stop it. He wants to put fear in the hearts of criminals, so he dresses up like a man — the most fearsome creature in this world.
Why so fearsome? This is the only creature that goes to war against itself, the only creature capable of planning its own destruction.
And so Man-Bat is born. He wears a cowl the covers his pointy ears with the rounded side-ears of the fearsome man. Man-Bat’s main weapon is his ability to tell lies. He turns this power around for good, so instead of using the lies to cheat people, he uses them to convince bad people to change their ways.
Our Earth astronaut is fascinated by Man-Bat. He’s actually kind of appalled that human traits are being used this way, and winds up showing himself to be every bit as untrustworthy as his kind is reputed to be.
The astronaut goes out of his way to sabotage Man-Bat, and in doing so becomes a villain. Of course, Man-Bat, being the good guy, wins in the end, and our astronaut is rehabilitated. He lives out the rest of his life on the bat world, doing everything he can to make the lives of his fellow citizens better.
A happy ending.