On Leather Wings

Season 1, Episode 2

Rating:

Synopsis

A strange bat-like creature is spotted in the night skies of Gotham City as he attempts to rob yet another pharmaceutical company. Reports of the robberies quickly hit the newspapers, blaming the crimes on Gotham’s vigilante, Batman.

Detective Harvey Bullock is quick to jump onto the case, demanding that the police force capture The Batman by all means necessary. Commissioner Gordon objects to Bullock's demands, claiming that the police have already been on this case.

Batman decides to put his own detective skills to use and investigate the crime scene. He sneaks into Phoenix Pharmaceutical, knocking out the security guard with a smoke bomb. Unfortunately for our hero, he is spotted by two scientists who are quick to notify the already-suspicious police force of his whereabouts. Detective Harvey Bullock immediately orders his squads to capture Batman.

Batman examines an audio tape from the scene as the police forces attempt to corner him. Batman quickly escapes with the evidence as the floor is blown to bits by the police.

Our hero returns to the Batcave, diligently studying the audio tapes. Strangely enough, he is unable to match the recordings to any species on earth. He receives a call explaining to him that the sounds were caused by fighting between common brown bats and starlings. Batman thanks the scientist and hangs up from the call. Batman speaks to Alfred, claiming that the scientist had lied.

Batman sneaks into the laboratory, watching as scientist Kirk Langstrom works by himself. Langstrom ingests his own formula, temporarily changing his form into one of a half-human, half-bat creature.

As Batman is fighting the Man-Bat, Mrs. Langstrom walks into the laboratory, shocked to see her husband in such an unrecognizable state. Ashamed of himself, the Man-Bat flees the scene. Batman quickly latches onto the creature with a grappling hook, following him out of the window.

As the two fly out of the building, they are seen together by Detective Bullock and Commissioner Gordon; proving that Batman and Man-Bat are, in fact, not the same person.

Batman eventually captures Man-Bat, taking him to The Batcave and, to the relief of Mrs. Langstrom, transforms Man-Bat back into her husband.

My Thoughts

Honestly, I don’t really have much to say about this episode. I was expecting this episode to be the second part of the previous episode, but it wasn’t.

I didn’t care about this episode very much. Yes, the idea of a madman turning himself into a “Man-Bat” is cool, I guess, but the episode felt very lackluster overall. I thought of it as a pretty generic good vs evil type of thing without much depth. I never felt nearly as intrigued as I did while watching The Cat And The Claw; likely since there weren’t many interesting characters aside from Batman himself.

I felt that the villain's motives were extremely poorly thought out. Seriously, what convincing reason would the Man-Bat truly have to keep transforming into a loathesome monster? It made no sense to me.

However, that isn’t to say that the episode had no good qualities. I thought that the cameo of Two-Face, one of my favorite villains, was pretty cool. I think that he is a highly underrated character and I like him quite a lot. I actually really want to start reading more comics that feature him. I think he deserves a lot more attention from DC.

Another quality about this episode that I genuinely loved was the way Commissioner Gordon so adamantly defended Batman against the false accusations. As the hero we know and love was being staged by the Manbat, Harvey Bullock was dead set on arresting Batman. However, the Commissioner was easily able to see through it and never lost faith in our hero. As corny as it might sound, I felt genuinely satisfied watching Bullock be proved wrong.

In general, I love how much of the police force is portrayed; cowardly and arrogant like Harvey Bullock. Of course I don’t want to be overly political on a Batman fansite, but I think it is a pretty accurate representation of law enforcement in the real world. One of the biggest reasons I adore Batman is for his vigilantism and strict inner morals. I think that this episode did an excellent job portraying why we need vigilantes in the real world. (While I did just criticize Gotham’s Law Enforcement, I do genuinely love Commissioner Gordon haha.)

Though I liked a few qualities about this episode, I generally found it to be quite boring. I am much more fond of the episodes featuring more interesting characters such as The Joker and Catwoman.