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Developed by Dr. Kirk Langstrom, the Man-Bat serum was a horrifying concoction that altered the humanity of the person consuming it and warped them to become a vicious, feral half-man (or woman), half-bat creature—the Man-Bat. During the mutation, the affected party would lose most of their mind and give in to their animalistic impulses, save in the direst of emergencies such as when a strong enough mental shock was applied (as seen when the first Man-Bat recoils at the sight of his wife and when the second one flies off to save her husband).
Also, during the transformation, they would gain greater stamina and the abilty to fly. Dr. March of the Gotham Zoo refined Kirk Langstrom's serum and perfected it so the new one would also increase the sensitivity of the ear to include echolocation (an ability only the second Man-Bat demonstrated). The Man-Bat was the first successful example of splicing, and was based upon a serum created originally by Emile Dorian and eventually modified by Dr. Langstrom towards bat-like mutative properties.
The first serum was taken by the aforementioned Dr. Langstrom, who immediately fell under its influence and felt the beast's mind coexisting with his own, continually demanding the chemicals necessary to make the transformation permanent. Under the beast's influence, Langstrom continually raided chemical laboratories to acquire these substances. Thus, he came under conflict with Batman and was forced to return to his full humanity with no apparent side-effects.
Some time later however, Langstrom suspected he had unconsciously again taken the Man-Bat persona, and fell into deep depression, which was fueled by the fact his wife claimed she could not cope with the lingering presence of the beast again and thus left him. However, he was pulled out of this when Batman informed him that he had, in fact, been cured successfully, and that somebody else was the new Man-Bat.
Dr. Langstrom attempted and succeeded in reasoning with his wife aboard an airplane leaving Gotham before she left him indefinitely, but shortly after, she succumbed to the mutagen herself after she had accidentally absorbed it through a piece of cut glass in an accident in Dr. March's laboratory. Turning into the Man-Bat, she started a rampage through the plane, escaping with her unconscious husband. Eventually, Batman confronted her atop one of the bridges surrounding Gotham. Injecting her with the cure, she was returned to normal.
Years later, Terry McGinnis was forcibly spliced by Abel Cuvier, who used a massive overdose of vampire bat serum to turn him into a feral creature similar to the original Man-Bat. As he began to transform, he returned to the Batcave to find help, but lost control and attacked his mentor, Bruce Wayne. Fortunately, after a brief struggle, Bruce was able to reverse the process using an antidote.
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