While we thought we had escaped the horrors of box-office blunder Batman v Superman, it seems that the specter of lame Lex Luthor, flashy flash forwards, and Granny's peach tea are still hanging over us. That isn't to say that there weren't glimmers of brilliance in the darkness, and now artist Patrick Tatopoulos has taken to Instagram to reveal his concept art for the giant bat monster that took on #Batman in Bruce's nightmare. We all remember it as one of the film's jump scares, but if not, refresh your memory here:
True fans of the comics had hoped that the winged menace that attacked Bruce was actually straight from Batman's rogues gallery, the formidable Man-Bat, but Tatopoulos seemingly confirms that it was just a "bat creature." Yet again another missed trick from #ZackSnyder and co., but hey ho, look at the brilliant bat below:
While some argue that the "Bruce's nightmare" sequence jarred a little, personally, it was one of my favorites parts and much better than that "Knightmare" flashforward. Seeing a vulnerable Bruce haunted by the death of his parents and his transformation into Batman played out perfectly with Snyder's usual stylized way. I'll admit it though, I am a little bummed that this wasn't a hint at Man-Bat, a character who has long been waiting in the shadows of #DC movies.
Paging Dr. Langstrom
Man-Bat has a long and convoluted history in the comics, first appearing in Detective Comics #400 in 1970 and even having his own short-lived (two issue) solo run. Serving like a Victorian gothic horror, Man-Bat is effectively the Jekyll and Hyde of the story. Dr. Kirk Langstrom was a zoologist who specified in the study of bats, aiming to introduce bat sonar as a way to help the deaf. Langstrom took his own serum but turned into the hideous Man-Bat creature. Over the years he has trodden the line between rogue villain, murderous monster, and even reformed hero, but Man-Bat has always struggled to break into the mainstream alongside villains like Harley, Penguin, and Mr. J.
Man-Bat has been so close to featuring in a live-action film; there were plans to include Langstrom in the cancelled third Joel Schumacher film, but we all know how that went after Batman & Robin. With Schumacher canned, Man-Bat eventually made it into the script for Lee Shapiro's Batman: DarKnight and even got into the casting stages of Mark Linn-Baker or Martin Short. Short in particular would have been superb to bring the weasley doctor to life, turning into a buffed-up Dracula of the story, but alas, DarKnight also was scrapped in favor of Year One and Batman Beyond proposals (which also failed).
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Bat's Your Lot
Thankfully, Langstrom still remains a big part of the various Batman animations, the comic books, and most recently Rocksteady's Arkham games. 2011's Arkham Knight had players take to the skies of Gotham to track down Langstrom in a genuinely terrifying side-quest. Also, no one has ever said never to Man-Bat in the #DCEU, and with such a weird cocktail of villains out there, a transforming bat hybrid is one of the more normal foes.
Sure, #BatmanvSuperman fell flat on many levels, but the inclusion of Man-Bat could've been a great Easter Egg to fans of the series. While it seems that Langstrom has had his wings clipped for now, it certainly looks like Man-Bat was the look Tatopoulos was going for, even if Snyder didn't acknowledge it. Secondly, although we only briefly glimpsed the creature, the concept art looks like it could've fitted in equally well with the Flash's Knightmare sequence, so maybe Langstrom really has been foreshadowed.
With Tatopoulos returning for the upcoming #JusticeLeague, it appears his time with the DCEU isn't quite over yet. Who knows, maybe Langstrom is hanging upside down somewhere and waiting patiently; there is a long night ahead of us and anything could happen, especially given #TheBatman's current (directionless) situation.
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