Bat-Mite

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Bat-Mite
Bat-Mite (circa 2015).png
Bat-Mite, in Bat-Mite #1 (June 2015). Art by Corin Howell
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceDetective Comics #267 (May 1959)
Created byBill Finger (writer)
Sheldon Moldoff (artist)
In-story information
Full nameUnknown (unpronounceable to humans, according to him)
SpeciesImp
Place of originMite Dimension (possibly an analogue to the Fifth Dimension, though never confirmed)
Supporting character ofBatman
AbilitiesReality warping

Bat-Mite is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Bat-Mite is an imp similar to the Superman villain Mister Mxyzptlk. Depicted as a small, childlike man in an ill-fitting Batman costume, Bat-Mite possesses what appear to be near-infinite magical powers, but he actually uses highly advanced technology from the Fifth dimension that cannot be understood by humans' limited three-dimensional views. Unlike Mxyzptlk, Bat-Mite idolizes his superhero target and thus he has visited Batman on various occasions, often setting up strange and ridiculous events so that he could see his hero in action. Bat-Mite is more of a nuisance than a supervillain, and often departs of his own accord upon realizing that he has angered his idol.[1]

Publication history[edit]

Bat-Mite made his first appearance in Detective Comics #267 (May 1959) in a story titled "Batman Meets Bat-Mite" written by Bill Finger, with art by Sheldon Moldoff.[2]

Bat-Mite, along with Batwoman, Batgirl and Ace the Bat-Hound, retired from the comic in 1964, when editor Julius Schwartz instituted a "New Look" Batman that shed some of the sillier elements in the series.[3]

Fictional character history[edit]

Pre-Crisis[edit]

Cover to Detective Comics #267 (May 1959), the first appearance of Bat-Mite, art by Curt Swan

Bat-Mite regularly appeared in Batman, Detective Comics, and World's Finest Comics for five years. Bat-Mite and Mr. Mxyzptlk teamed up four times in the pages of World's Finest Comics to plague Superman and Batman together, as well.[4] In 1964, however, when the Batman titles were revamped under new editor Julius Schwartz, Bat-Mite vanished along with other members of the Batman extended family, such as Batwoman, Bat-Girl, and Ace the Bat-Hound.

After this, only three more Bat-Mite stories were published in the Pre-Crisis DC Universe: two more Bat-Mite/Mr. Mxyzptlk team ups in World's Finest Comics #152 (August 1965) and #169 (September 1967) (which were not edited by Schwartz, but by Mort Weisinger),[5] and "Bat-Mite's New York Adventure" from Detective Comics #482 (February–March 1979), in which the imp visits the DC Comics offices and insists that he be given his own feature in a Batman comic. This story featured protestors with picket signs shouting "We want Bat-Mite!" outside the Tishman Building (where DC's editorial offices were located at the time), and was accompanied by an editorial comment that this story was published specifically to acknowledge the actual requests of fans for this character's revival.

Later Bat-Mite appeared in a one-page story in The Brave and the Bold #200.

Post-Crisis[edit]

After the continuity-changing 1985 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths was published, Bat-Mite was mostly removed from the Batman comics canon.[6] Bat-Mite made an appearance in Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #38, although he may have been the hallucination of a drug-addled criminal named Bob Overdog. This comic states that Bat-Mite is one of the many admirers of superheroes from another dimension. This version of Bat-Mite later returned in Batman: Mitefall — A Legends of the Dark Mite Special, a one-shot book which was both part of, and a parody of, the Batman storyline Knightfall (with Overdog briefly in the Jean-Paul Valley role). In #6 of the 1999 Batman and Superman: World's Finest miniseries, Mr. Mxyzptlk encounters Bat-Mite, shortly after being mistaken for him by Overdog. While in this story, the Post-Crisis Bat-Mite encounters Batman for the first time, Superman and Batman subsequently concluded that Mxyzptlk had created him, inspired by Overdog's ravings.

Bat-Mite also appeared in the 2000 one-shot Elseworlds comic special World's Funnest, in which he battles Mr. Mxyzptlk, destroying the Pre-Crisis multiverse and the Post-Crisis DC Universe, as well as the Elseworlds of Kingdom Come, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, and the DC animated universe. As an Elseworlds story itself, World's Funnest has no impact on continuity, as inferred from The Dark Knight Returns and Kingdom Come being introduced to the official DC multiverse as a result of the maxiseries 52.[7]

Apart from World's Funnest, there has been no direct connection between Bat-Mite and Mr. Mxyzptlk. In the Bizarro Comics anthology, Mxyzptlk's native Fifth Dimension seemed to include beings similar to Bat-Mite and Johnny Thunder's Thunderbolt. Neither of these comics are considered canonical; however, in a Justice League/Justice Society of America crossover in Justice League and in Justice Society of America #78–80 it was revealed that both Mxyzptlk and Thunderbolt come from the Fifth Dimension. Letter columns and writer interviews suggest that Bat-Mite comes from there as well, although this has never been shown thus far in the comic stories themselves.

In the post-Crisis issue Superman/Batman #25, it was revealed that the Joker had gained Fifth Dimensional powers by maintaining the essence of Mr. Mxyzptlk from the earlier "Emperor Joker" storyline; at the end, Bizarro was able to extract this latent magical essence from the Joker, which manifested in a form recognizable as Bat-Mite. As such, a Bat-Mite has been fully reestablished into the current continuity as an outgrowth of Mr. Mxyzptlk, incubated within the Joker.[8]

The first Post-Infinite Crisis appearance of Bat-Mite was in Batman #672, written by Grant Morrison.[9] Batman is confronted with Bat-Mite (or "Might") after being shot in the chest and suffering a heart attack. Might, who bears a green insectoid creature on his back, claims to have come from "Space B at the Fivefold Expansion of Zrfff"[10] (at times, Zrfff has been used as the name of Mr. Mxyzptlk's home planet in the Fifth Dimension). Only Batman sees him. As Batman is having an increasingly difficult time keeping his grip on reality during this period, it is possible that Mite is a mental delusion.

In Batman #678, after Batman transforms himself into "the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh", Might reappears on the last page with him, commenting "uh-oh" regarding Batman's increasing delusions. He then counsels the Zur-En-Arrh Batman, a 'back-up' personality manufactured by Bruce himself to keep Batman able to fight in case he was mindwiped, or driven to insanity. Batman #680 reveals that Might is indeed a product of Batman's imagination, representing the last vestiges of Batman's rational mind within the Zur-En-Arrh Batman, although when asked by Batman whether he is an extra-dimensional being or a figment of his imagination, Bat-Mite responds that "the Fifth Dimension is imagination".[11]

In Superman/Batman #52, Bat-Mite appears, having had a bet with Mr. Mxyzptlk similar to that of World's Funnest. This Bat-Mite appears to admire Batman, and Batman addresses him with familiarity.[12]

The New 52[edit]

On February 6, 2015, DC Comics announced a Bat-Mite monthly miniseries for release in June 2015.[13] The six-issue miniseries concluded in November.

Publications[edit]

2015 series[edit]

  • Bat-Mite (2016-02-17): Includes Bat-Mite #1-6, Sneak Peek story from Convergence: Supergirl: Matrix #2.[14]

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

Bat-Mite, Batman, and Robin from The New Adventures of Batman.
  • Bat-Mite appeared as a regular character in the 1977 Filmation animated series The New Adventures of Batman, voiced by Lou Scheimer.[citation needed] This version was depicted as a well-meaning magical fan of Batman who tried to help him despite usually complicating matters. One episode featured his home planet of Ergo as well as a villain of Bat-Mite's species named Zarbor.[15][16]
  • An animatronic Bat-Mite briefly appeared in the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Deep Freeze", voiced by Pat Fraley.[citation needed] He enthusiastically greeted Batman and Robin before malfunctioning and falling apart. It is later revealed to be a robot toy created by robotics expert Karl Rossum (voiced by William Sanderson).[citation needed]
  • A Bat-Mite-like character based on Robin called Nosyarg Kcid, later nicknamed Larry, appears in the Teen Titans animated series episode "Fractured", voiced by Dee Bradley Baker.[citation needed] His right index finger has the power to bend reality, which he uses to watch Robin and his adventures with the eponymous team. After Robin breaks his arm fighting Johnny Rancid, Larry appears in the Titans' dimension to heal his idol. However, Robin violently refuses and inadvertently breaks Larry's finger in their ensuing struggle, which changes the world into a child's crayon drawing. While trying to repair the damage, Rancid uses Larry's powers to change the world into a dark dystopia before Robin and Larry join forces to defeat him and change the world back. Once Larry's finger is fixed, Robin offers to let him fix his arm, which the former succeeds in, though he accidentally stranded the latter in a blank dimension.
  • Bat-Mite appeared in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold animated series episodes "Legends of the Dark Mite", "Emperor Joker", "Bat-Mite Presents: Batman's Strangest Cases!" and the series finale, "Mitefall!", voiced by Paul Reubens.[citation needed] This version is powerful enough to regularly break the fourth wall, read to Batman his past, present, and future exploits from real world comic books, and make fun of real-world comic convention fans.
  • Bat-Mite appears in the animated television special Lego DC Comics: Batman Be-Leaguered, voiced again by Paul Reubens.[citation needed] To ensure Batman becomes the greatest hero in the universe, he joins forces with Lex Luthor, the Joker, the Penguin, Man-Bat, Captain Cold, and Black Manta to kidnap the Justice League. However, Batman finds them and helps them escape before Bat-Mite summons the villains to fight the Justice League. After the Leaguers defeat the villains, an impressed Bat-Mite leaves.

Video games[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Beatty, Scott (2008). "Bat-Mite". In Dougall, Alastair (ed.). The DC Comics Encyclopedia. London: Dorling Kindersley. p. 39. ISBN 978-0-7566-4119-1.
  2. ^ Detective Comics #267 (DC, 1937 Series) at the Grand Comics Database
  3. ^ Wells, John (2015). American Comic Book Chronicles: 1960-64. TwoMorrows Publishing. pp. 167–169. ISBN 978-1605490458.
  4. ^ Fleisher, Michael L. (1976). The Encyclopedia of Comic Book Heroes, Volume 1: Batman. Macmillan Publishing Co. pp. 134–140. ISBN 0-02-538700-6. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  5. ^ Greenberger, Robert; Pasko, Martin (2010). The Essential Superman Encyclopedia. Del Rey. p. 25. ISBN 978-0-345-50108-0.
  6. ^ Cowsill, Alan; Irvine, Alex; Korte, Steve; et al. (2016). The DC Comics Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to the Characters of the DC Universe. DK Publishing. p. 25. ISBN 978-1-4654-5357-0.
  7. ^ Ross, Alex (2003). The DC Comics Art of Alex Ross. Pantheon Books. ISBN 978-0375422409.
  8. ^ Superman/Batman #25 (May 1, 2006)
  9. ^ Batman #672 (February 2008)
  10. ^ Batman #674 (April 2008)
  11. ^ Batman #680 (October 2008)
  12. ^ Superman/Batman #52 (October 2008)
  13. ^ "DC Entertainment Announces New Books, New Creators, Broader Focus for the DC Universe". dccomics.com (Press release). February 6, 2015. Retrieved November 5, 2020.
  14. ^ BAT-MITE
  15. ^ "A History of Batman on TV". IGN. Archived from the original on 2012-03-27. Retrieved 2010-08-16.
  16. ^ "The New Adventures of Batman". DVD Talk. Retrieved 2010-08-16.

External links[edit]