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The Bat (I). The Bat (I) was created by “Harrington Next,” the pseudonym of Eden Phillpotts (John Ringrose), and appeared in Number 87 (1922).
The Bat (I) is a Mad Scientist. Paul Strossmeyer, a Yugoslav trade representative, grows concerned with the short-sightedness of various world politicians, especially with regards to the discovery and application of atomic energy. So Strossmeyer begins a series of terrorist acts, from the disintegration of the Albert Memorial to the destruction of various Christian Science churches to the assassination of several English, Japanese, American and Soviet politicians. In each case the assassination is done by a needle-thin puncture near the heart and the transmutation of various elements of the body. Also in each case, a mysterious figure was seen near the crime; this figure, the Bat, is larger than a man, has glowing eyes, and leaves behind a foul stench. Strossmeyer is the Bat. He worked with radioactivity for decades and discovered Element 87, which allows for the easy splitting of the atom and the production of enormous amounts of energy. Strossmeyer uses Element 87 to create and power SCIENCE!, including his flying suit, his weapons, and his bat-shaped aircraft, which can fly through the upper atmosphere at 100,000 miles an hour. It all ends badly for Strossmeyer, who destroys his fortress and then heads off into space to kill himself.
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