The Man-bat serum is bat gland extract created by Robert Langstrom. It was originally created to amplify a person's hearing capabilities to bat-like levels. When injected into the body it causes a transformation into a half-human/half-bat creature. The effects of the serum are permanent until the person is provided an antidote and all the effects are reverted; the first antidote was developed by Batman.
Kirk Langstrom eventually developed a more potent version of the formula, which would make the transformation permanent, but he was not able to use it after its creation. Later and in order to keep his transformations controlled, Langstrom developed pill versions of the serum, which allowed him to carry the serum everywhere for faster transformations.
Robert Langstrom often used the serum to transform into Man-Bat in times of need. However, recently he was attacked by Dr. Phosphorus, who took away a sample of the serum from him and then attacked Langstrom's wife, Francine. Because of this situation, Langstrom was able to transform into Man-Bat without the need of the serum.
When Talia went looking for Batman after his disappearance, she learned about the Black Glove's involvement. Dosing some of her assassins with the serum, she changed them into Man-Bat creatures and sent them against the members of the Black Glove.
The serum has been shown to grant the following powers:
- Flight: Man-Bat can fly by way of artificially generated leather wings.
- Claws: The Man-Bat has sharpened claws which are strong enough to easily tear through flesh and muscle.
- Echolocation: Man-Bat can navigate through the air by way of echolocation, similar in function to a bat's radar.
A major weakness is that the senses become highly sensitive and extremely loud noises or bright lights cause intense pain. Repeated exposure has been shown to induce serious mutations. This was evidenced with Aaron Langstrom, the son of Robert and Francine Langstrom, who was born with many of the attributes induced by the man-bat serum.
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