DETECTIVE COMICS #26
Author: Matt Grazel
December 11, 2013

SYNOPSIS: Batman works to contain a swarm of genetically altered killer bats, as well as She-Bat and other humans who have been mutated into bat-people.

Issue #26 of Detective Comics continues the Man-Bat story arc that has been featured as the backup stories in previous issues of the title. Writer John Layman concludes the Man-Bat storyline before the beginning of the “Gothtopia” story arc next month.

In “Crown Of Fear,” the names of missing people continue to accumulate for the GCPD in their investigation of what is causing the deaths of people in Gotham. Batman realizes only he is capable of subduing Dr. Kirk Langstrom as the Man-Bat. After a brief altercation, the Dark Knight is able to allow Kirk to change back to his human self.

Kirk reveals to Batman that he has become the Man-Bat to try and stop his wife, Francine, who has become the She-Bat. Kirk explains that neither he nor his wife needs the serum to transform into the bat creatures anymore because repeated use of the serum has affected each of their genetic codes.

Kirk explains that Francine made a mistake while learning from her husband on how to create the serum into a biological weapon. Francine used the wrong bats and unstable compounds and became the weapon. Francine has infected a bat colony and turned them into monsters. Kirk has a sample of his wife’s blood and made another serum to revitalize her human genetic code.

Batman and Kirk form an alliance in order to defeat She-Bat. However, Batman came up with a plan of his own by injecting Kirk with the serum instead of a sedative. As the Man-Bat, Kirk bites the She-Bat, which allows Francine to transform back into her human self. Batman is able to defeat the Man-Bat before he kills Francine.

After bringing both of them to Arkham Asylum, Bruce arrives at home to find Selina Kyle upset for not allowing her to help him against the Langstroms. This panel sets up the next story arc, “Gothtopia,” which will begin in an over-sized issue next month.

Issue #26 of Detective Comics is a good conclusion for readers who have enjoyed the Man-Bat backup stories in the previous issues of the title. - Matt Grazel

GRADE: B+


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