Introduction On Racism Epigraphs A History of the Pulps A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Glossary and Character Taxonomy Breakdown by Country of Origin Bibliography Table of Contents The Best of the Encyclopedia
Ogon Batto. Ogon Batto was created by the Japanese creators Takeo Nagamatsu and Ichiro Suzuki and has appeared in kamishibai (stories for children told by wandering performers), pulps, film, and anime from 1930 to 1969.
Ogon Batto is a Superhuman Costumed Avenger. Ogon Batto, or “Golden Bat,” is a warrior from Atlantis, circa 8,000 B.C.E., who was put into suspended animation and placed in a tomb in Egypt, to be awakened in the future to fight evil. In the 1930s Professor Yamatone and his adopted daughter Marie discover Ogon’s tomb. Yamatone and his family are being threatened by the henchmen of the foul cyborg crimelord Dr. Zero, and Marie begins crying. Her tears awaken Ogon, and he rescues her and Yamatone, and then begins fighting evil in the modern world. Ogon’s archenemies are Dr. Zero, Dr. Death (an evil version of Ogon Batto), and Nazo, the “Emperor of the Universe.” Ogon wears a golden costume and has a skeletal face. He can fly, turn into a bat, and carries a scepter which can cause earthquakes and shoot lightning.
* I'm including the Ogon Batto stories in the Best of the Encyclopedia list because of their historical importance. The kamishibai were about as humble a beginning place as there was in pre-WW2 Japan for a heroic pulpy character, but Ogon Batto succeeded in overcoming his transient & ephemeral beginnings to become a genuine cultural phenomenon. There weren't many--well, any--Japanese science fiction superheroes in 1930, and darn few into the 1960s, so Ogon Batto filled the gap there as a genuinely Japanese (rather than American-influenced) superhero and wish fulfillment figure. The stories are pure pulp superhero, but again influenced by Japanese culture rather than American. And the Ogon Batto's Rogues Gallery, a very sf pulpy bunch, provided viewers and readers and watchers of Ogon Batto stories with the requisite pulp sf thrills. The result, as mentioned, was a real cultural phenomenon, and for nearly forty years Ogon Batto iconically represented Japanese sf pulp heroes.
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