Bat-Mite emerging from Joker's mouth. Art by Ed McGuinness.
|First appearance||Detective Comics #267 (May 1959)|
|Place of origin||Mite Dimension (possibly an analogue to the Fifth Dimension, though never confirmed)|
|Supporting character of||Batman|
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 utilizes 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 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.
Publication history[edit | edit source]
Fictional character history[edit | edit source]
Pre-Crisis[edit | edit source]
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. In 1964, however, when the Batman titles were revamped under new editor Julius Schwartz, Bat-Mite vanished along with the other extraneous members of the Batman 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), 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 | edit source]
After the continuity-changing 1985 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths was published, Bat-Mite was mostly removed from the Batman comics canon. 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 encountered Bat-Mite, shortly after being mistaken for him by Overdog. While in this story the Post-Crisis Bat-Mite encountered 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.
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 JLA/JSA crossover in JLA and in JSA #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.
The first Post-Infinite Crisis appearance of Bat-Mite was in Batman #672, written by Grant Morrison. 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" (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".
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.
The New 52[edit | edit source]
On February 6, 2015, DC Comics announced a Bat-Mite monthly miniseries for release in June 2015. The six-issue miniseries concluded in November.
In other media[edit | edit source]
Television[edit | edit source]
- Bat-Mite was a regular character of the 1977 Filmation animated series The New Adventures of Batman voiced by Lou Scheimer. He was depicted as a well-meaning magical fan of the superhero. As such, he tried to help Batman even though he usually complicated matters, with a whiny "All I wanna do is help!" as a near-catchphrase. One episode featured his home planet called Ergo as well as a villain of Bat-Mite's species named Zarbor. He also has a crush on Batgirl.
- An animatronic Bat-Mite briefly appeared in the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Deep Freeze", voiced by Pat Fraley. Bat-Mite enthusiastically greeted Batman, saying "Greetings, Dynamic Duo! I'm your biggest fan!" before kissing Robin, who was shocked. It then malfunctions and falls apart stuttering "I just wanna help!". It is revealed just to be a robot toy, created by robotics expert Karl Rossum (voiced by William Sanderson). In the background, an animatronic Mister Mxyzptlk, Streaky the Supercat and Krypto the Superdog can also be seen in Rossum's apartment.
- In Teen Titans appears Robins's Bat-Mite-like counterpart named Nosyarg Kcid, a.k.a. Larry voiced by Dee Bradley Baker. His right index finger has the power to bend reality, and he uses it to watch Robin and his adventures. He enters the Titans' dimension to help fix Robin's broken arm, but fails to do so. He breaks his own finger during a scuffle with Robin as he keeps insisting on helping him; as a result, his reality-warping power is unleashed upon the city, changing it first into an embodiment of a child-drawn picture, and later into a dark, demonic domain when Titans foe Johnny Rancid seizes the power for himself. After Larry's finger is repaired and all is brought back to normal, he returns to his own dimension, but not before Robin offers him the chance to fix his broken arm one last time. He succeeds, but accidentally leaves Robin stranded in a blank, white space in the process.
- Bat-Mite also appeared in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episodes "Legends of the Dark Mite", "Emperor Joker", "Bat-Mite Presents: Batman's Strangest Cases!" and the series finale, "Mitefall!", voiced by Paul Reubens. This version of Bat-Mite is powerful enough to regularly break the fourth wall and 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 television special Lego DC Comics: Batman Be-Leaguered voiced again by Paul Reubens. He was behind the abduction of the Justice League members and specific objects in order to eliminate the Justice League so that Batman can be the greatest hero in the universe. To do this, he became the mysterious benefactor to Lex Luthor, Joker, Penguin, Man-Bat, Captain Cold, and Black Manta in order to pull off the heists. When the Justice League members were abducted and placed in a cage, Bat-Mite assembled a special death trap that would be activated by the sun's rays. Batman arrives at the Hall of Justice where the captured Justice League members were held and informs them about his previous encounters with Bat-Mite. The Justice League members got out of the death trap when it turned out that the cage was unlocked. Bat-Mite ends up using his powers to summon the villains to fight Batman and the Justice League. When Batman and the Justice League defeat the villains, Bat-Mite makes them disappear and states that the Justice League has impressed him as he leaves. Batman warns the Justice League members that Bat-Mite may become fans of them as well.
Video games[edit | edit source]
- Bat-Mite appears as a playable character in Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, voiced by Roger Craig Smith.
References[edit | edit source]
- Beatty, Scott (2008). "Bat-Mite". In Dougall, Alastair. The DC Comics Encyclopedia. London: Dorling Kindersley. p. 39. ISBN 0-7566-4119-5
- Detective Comics #267 (DC, 1937 Series) at the Grand Comics Database
- Ross, Alex (2003). The DC Comics Art of Alex Ross. Pantheon Books. ISBN 978-0375422409.
- Superman/Batman #25 (May 1, 2006)
- Batman #672 (Feb. 2008)
- Batman #674 (April 2008)
- Batman #680 (Oct. 1, 2008)
- Superman/Batman #52(October 2008)
- DC ENTERTAINMENT ANNOUNCES NEW BOOKS, NEW CREATORS, BROADER FOCUS FOR THE DC UNIVERSE
- "A History of Batman on TV". IGN. http://uk.tv.ign.com/articles/891/891807p5.html. Retrieved 2010-08-16.
- "The New Adventures of Batman". DVD Talk. http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/28992/new-adventures-of-batman-the/. Retrieved 2010-08-16.