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Dr. March
March
Information
Species: Human
Hair: White
Eyes: Black
Relatives: Francine Langstrom (daughter)
Kirk Langstrom (son-in-law)
Base: Gotham City
Voiced by: Rene Auberjonois

"And what if they are bats, Mr. Wayne? What then? Destroy them like insects? We won't survive the next evolutionary cataclysm but bats will! They're survivors, Mr. Wayne, not pests. You should understand that!"

Dr. March was a scientist working at Gotham City whose experiments led to the creation of the first Man-Bat.

History

While working at the Gotham Zoo, March became obsessed with bats, believing that they possessed the necessary hereditary traits to survive the next evolutionary cataclysm, while humans did not. Believing that the human race could only survive if they were to adapt certain bat-like attributes, March began researching a mutagenic formula that could bring about this transformation.

However, March's early work never got past the theoretical stage. His son-in-law, Kirk Langstrom, was the first one to produce a working formula, which he took himself, causing him to transform into the monstrous Man-Bat. March was aware of this, and helped to conceal the truth from the authorities. Bruce Wayne dropped by the zoo, hoping to get some background on what type of bat the creature he was fighting may be, by claiming the hair samples and recordings were from bats in his chimney. Later, Dr. March called Wayne Manor and said that hair sample was from a brown bat, and the sound came from starlings and brown bats fighting over a chimney. When Bruce suggested hiring an exterminator, March went off a rant of how gifted bats were and that they would survive the next evolutionary cataclysm, and instead recommended waiting until winter when the cold weather would force the bats out. However, Batman knew the sound and hair samples were from the Man-Bat. When Alfred suggested Dr. March was incorrect, Batman said it is more than error, March was covering something up, and intensified his investigation of the zoo.

Batman apprehended the Man-Bat and injected him with an antidote to the formula, before returning him to the arms of his grateful wife, Francine.

March, however, was unable to give up his pet theory. Despite the havoc that had been wreaked by the Man-Bat, March continued to work in secret on refining the formula, until it was even more potent than Langstrom's version. He was still afraid to test it on himself.

One night, while he was working on the mutagen, Francine startled him, and he accidentally dropped the formula, shattering it. Unfortunately, when she helped clean it up, she was inadvertently injected with a tiny droplet of the formula, which was powerful enough to periodically transform her into the second bat creature. When March realized that he had endangered his own daughter's life, he burned his research notes and abandoned the project.

Background Information and Notes

  • Though he abandoned his own research, Kirk Langstrom's notes survived, and were used by Dr. Milo in his work for Project Cadmus.
  • He may have been based on Dr. Carl Stoner from the 1973 natural horror film Ssssss, who was played by Strother Martin. Dr. Stoner was an ophiologist (doctor of snakes), who was also a delusional man who believed humanity would be wiped out in the next evolutionary cataclysm or a manmade disaster such as excess pollution or nuclear war, and needed to splice with reptile DNA to survive. Like Dr. March, Dr. Stoner commenced experiments on other men, but not himself, in this case his lab assistant played by Dirk Benedict. One main difference between the two is that Dr. March is forward enough to tell of his experimentation, whereas Dr. Stoner administered transforming injections to his assistants while lying that they were to build up antivenom in case of a lab accident.
  • March was voiced by Rene Auberjonois, his only character in Batman: The Animated Series; this made Auberjonois one of only five actors to appear in both the animated series and one of the live action movies.

Appearances and references

Batman: The Animated Series

See also

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