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The Bat (II). The Bat (II) was created by "C.K.M. Scanlon," a house pseudonym for Standard Magazines. It is not conclusively known who created and wrote the Bat stories; likely suspects include Johnston McCulley (The Avenging Twins, Black Star, Jim Bodney, Crimson Clown, Captain Goodwin, Green Ghost, Richard Hughes, Man in Purple, Mongoose, Peter Noggins, Peanut Pete, Spider (I), Thubway Tham, Thunderbolt (I), Terry Trimble, Whirlwind, Zorro), Leo Margulies, and Cylvia Kleinman. The Bat (II) appeared in four stories in Popular Detective in 1934 and 1935, beginning with “The Bat Strikes” (Popular Detective, Nov. 1934).
The Bat (II) is a Costumed Avenger. Dawson Clade, a private detective, has been investigating various underworld figures and is beginning to draw close to highly-connected political figures. But the criminals of the city get together with these politicians, murder a wealthy philanthropist, and frame Clade for the crime. Clade is sentenced to die on the electric chair, and when the governor is about to grant Clade’s pardon the governor is killed by a blowdart-wielding assassin. But on the eve of execution Clade is saved by the prison warden and by Martin Fenbeck, a wealthy businessman, who both believe that Clade is innocent. The pair rig the electric chair so that it appears to kill Clade, but does not. The pair bring Clade to Fenbeck's cabin, in the woods outside of the city, and bury someone else in Clade's grave. Clade resolves to fight crime and has an inspiration:
...he must become a figure of sinister import to all of these people. A strange Nemesis that would eventually become a legendary terror to all of crimedom...he glanced at the oil lamp burning on a table. Then he swung around, suddenly tense. In the shadows above his head there came a slithering, flapping sort of sound.
Clade leaped back instinctively as something brushed past his cheek. Again the flapping of wings--a weird rustling sound. Terror overcame him for an instant as something brushed against his hair, caught in a tangled lock. Something that seemed unspeakably evil.
He reached up, tore at it with fingers that had suddenly grown frantic. He flung the thing aside. As he did so he saw that it was a bat. An insectivorous mammal, with its wings formed by a membrane stretched between the tiny elongated fingers, legs and tail.
As the creature hovered above the lamp for an instant it cast a huge shadow upon the cabin wall.
"That's it!" exclaimed Clade aloud. "I'll call myself `The Bat!'"
(This sequence was lifted from the Bat stories and used in the first appearance of the Batman).
Clade puts on a bat-like costume and becomes the crime-fighting Bat. He uses a "vapor gun" which projects a stunning anesthetic gas, and leaves calling cards behind, imprinted with a bat symbol.
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