The Bat: Making Catchphrase History
You know, when your title character looks vaguely uncomfortable on the cover to the comic, it might be time to rethink your costume design.
Such is the case with The Bat, pictured here by Dave Dorman, studiously avoiding making eye contact with the reader and clutching a woman who appears to be thoroughly disinterested.
In case you're wondering what that dude's deal is--and with a mask like that, how could you not be--I'll explain. Created by Mark Wheatley (of Frankenstein Mobster fame) and Rich Shanklin, with pencils by Neil Vokes, The Bat is one of those comics where it's really hard to tell whether the creators meant it to be serious or not. But considering the incredible amount of over-the-top 1990-style violence, I'm going to go ahead and vote for the former.
Anyway, The Bat is one Wesley Sharp, who--and stop me if you've heard this one--is leaving a showing of The Mark of Zorro one night in 1924 when he sees a young boy's parents get murdered in an alley, and decides that this is not a good thing. So, after getting the unnamed boy to safety, Wesley embarks upon a round-the-world journey to hone his crime-fighting skills, eventually returning home with the inexplicable nom-de-guerre and astonishingly high-collared outfit of The Bat, and goes off to fight crime.
After fifteen years of this, he's eventually strung up and shot, but thanks to a series of events involving a ring of slavers, a vampire, and his girlfriend's favorite necklace, he comes back from the dead just long enough to exact his revenge before he dies yet again. Except this time, his soul forms itself into a bat and flies off into the night and through a conveniently-located study window where some kid's waiting around for an omen.
This is, of course, largely irrelevant.
The real reason this guy makes it to the ISB? Simple: He has what is quite possibly The Single Greatest Catchphrase In Comics History: