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Fortas was originally encountered by the Justice League in a Death Valley laboratory. The League initially believed him to be an alien vampire, able to suck the life force out of his victims. Aquaman realized that he was stealing moisture, not life force, and the League created a vacuum to dry the creature out.[1] Fortas was later discovered in Gotham City after 26 women went missing. Batman found one of the missing women when she escaped but she died before he was able to question her.[1]

After baiting Fortas' henchmen, Batman briefly battled Fortas before tracking him to his base inside the abandoned Kane Center Stadium. There he found the missing women drained of moisture and close to death, as well as a large scientific device.[2] Another fight between Fortas and Batman left Batman with serious injuries but he escaped with one of the victims. While Batman recovered in the hospital, he learned that Fortas had previously fought the Justice League.[3] Batman used League files to deduce that Fortas wasn't alien, but a human mutated with science. He also learned that Fortas' device was meant to turn more people into creatures like him. Batman used this knowledge in his next encounter but Fortas unleashed a hoard of his mutated "children" on Batman.[4]

Fortas revealed to Batman that his children were mutated henchmen eager to work for any new costumed villain in Gotham. The sheer amount of creatures overwhelmed Batman but the Justice League arrived in time to turn the tide. After the fight, Fortas explained that he planned to use his device to mutate others like himself. He viewed this as a way for others to join in a future that involved superpowers but where normal humanity was left behind. Fortas announced that he wasn't afraid to create this future. Batman, however, lectured Fortas that he was wrong to forcibly mutate people or hide the consequences of that decision from them. With that, Fortas and his creatures were captured by the League.[5]

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