One of the more bizarre characters to have appeared in DC Comics’ stories is – Bat-Mite. This miniature Batman / imp debuted as early as 1959 in Detective Comics #267, created by Bill Finger and Sheldon Moldoff. One of the stranger iterations of Batman, Bat-Mite has survived the test of time and although he hasn’t been used that often, has become one of DC Comics’ most iconic characters. In this article, we are going to explain who Bat-Mite is.
Bat-Mite is a character who made his first appearance in the story titled “Batman Meets Bat-Mite”. Bat-Mite is an imp that looks like a child dressed in a Batman suit. Bat-Mite possesses what appear to be almost infinite magical powers, but in reality uses highly advanced fifth-dimensional technology. He is a big fan and idolizes Batman, which is why he wants to help him, although, in the end, he ends up being more of an annoyance than anything else.
In the continuation of this article, we are going to tell you more about Bat-Mite and thus provide you with a complete guide to the character, his origins and his powers. Bat-Mite is a very intriguing character and certainly deserves much more attention than he is usually given, which is why we decided to write this guide for you.
Who is Bat-Mite?
Bat-Mite is a reality-traveling 5th dimensional imp who idolizes Batman, but usually gets his hero in trouble. To show his devotion to the latter, he wears a costume similar to his. He is similar to Mister Mxyzptlk, an enemy of Superman whom he occasionally teams up with, though instead of acting mischievous he poses an unwitting threat.
Some story arcs point out that he might just be a part of Batman’s imagination. Bat-Mite was created by Bill Finger and Sheldon Moldoff, debuting in Detective Comics #267 (1959). Bat-Mite had been appearing regularly in Batman, Detective Comics, and World’s Finest Comics for five years. Bat-Mite and Mister Mxyzptlk teamed up four times in the pages of World’s Finest Comics against Superman and Batman, who were also working as a team.
In 1964, however, when the Batman series was taken over by new editor Julius Schwartz, Bat-Mite disappeared, along with other family members such as Ace the Bat-Hound, and Bat-Mite made only three appearances in the DC Universe before Infinite Crisis. Bat-Mite/Mr. Mxyzptlk appeared in World’s Finest Comics #152 (August 1965) and #169 (September 1967), edited by Mort Weisinger rather than Schwartz, and in Detective Comics‘ Bat-Mite’s New York Adventure story from #482 (February-March 1979), in which the imp visits DC Comics employees and insists on appearing in the comic.
This story describes a picket line where people shout “We want Bat-Mite!” outside of the Tishman Building, where the DC editors’ office was located at the time. This comic was also provided with an editor’s note that this story was published specifically at the request of the character’s fans. Bat-Mite later appeared in a one-page story in #200 of The Brave and the Bold.
After the revamp of the entire continuum in the 1985 crossover Crisis on Infinite Earths, Bat-Mite was almost completely removed from the Batman canon. He appeared in the comic book series Legends of the Dark Knight, although he was possibly a hallucination of a criminal named Bob Overdog. This comic claimed that Bat-Mite is one of the many superhero fans from another dimension.
This version of Bat-Mite later appeared in “Mitefool”, a one-part parody of the Knightfall story (with Overdog acting as Jean-Paul Valley, the original Azrael). In the sixth issue of the World’s Finest miniseries, Mister Mxyzptlk attacked Bat-Mite, mistaking him for Bob Overdog. In the post-Crisis story, Bat-Mite attacked Batman, however, Superman and Batman later learned that Mxyzptlk had created him based on descriptions of the delirious Overdog.
Bat-Mite appears in the Elseworlds imprint one-episode comic special Superman and Batman: World’s Funnest in which he fights Mr. Mxyzptlk, destroying the pre-Crisis Multiverse and the post-Crisis Universe, as well as all other universes in general, including the Elseworlds universe. The story did not continue and did not affect subsequent comics in any way.
Other than World’s Funnest, there was no connection between Bat-Mite and Mr. Mxyzptlk. In the anthology Bizarro Comics, Mxyzptlk’s native Fifth Dimension contains creatures similar to Bat-Mite and Johnny Thunder’s Lightning Bolts. None of these comics have been deemed canon; however, in the Justice League of America/Justice Society of America crossover and in issues #78-80 of each of those stories, it was said that both Mxyzptlk and Lightning came from the Fifth Dimension.
It has been suggested in interviews and email responses that Bat-Mite also came from there, although this was not directly shown in the comics. In post-Crisis Superman/Batman #25, the Joker gained the powers of a Fifth Dimension inhabitant by borrowing them from Mr. Mxyzptlk from the earlier Emperor Joker comic; in the end, Bizarro was able to take them from him – turning them into Bat-Mite, literally crawling out of the Joker’s head.
So Bat-Mite returned to the comics thanks to the powers of Mr. Mxyzptlk, grown in the head of the Joker. Bat-Mite’s first appearance after Infinite Crisis was in Batman #672, written by Grant Morrison. Batman confronts Bat-Mite right after being shot in the chest and having a heart attack. Bat-Mite, who has a green insect on his back, claims to be from “Space B at the Fivefold Expansion of Zrff” (Mr. Mxyzptlk’s home dimension is called “Zrffff” at times).
Only Batman can see Bat-Mite. Since Batman at that time was on the verge of death and could not really distinguish between reality, it is quite possible that Bat-Mite was just his hallucination. In Batman #678, Bat-Mite reappears commenting on Batman’s increasing hallucinations. It is stated in #680 that Bat-Mite is indeed a product of Batman’s imagination, reflecting the rational part of him.
In issue #52 of the Superman/Batman comic, Bat-Mite and Mxyzptlk argue again, with the result similar to the events of World’s Funnest. In this comic, Bat-Mite admires Batman and Batman responds with gratitude.
What are Bat-Mite’s powers and abilities?
Bat-Mite actually has almost the same powers as Mr. Mxyzptlk, which include the power to manipulate space and time, although unlike Mxyzptlk’s Chaos, he uses his powers for “heroic” deeds. Ironically, by doing so, he either makes a situation worse or creates a whole new problem. As far as his reality-altering powers are concerned, Bat-Mite has demonstrated the ability to animate inanimate objects, shrink or enlarge people and objects, levitate, endow people or animals with superpowers, and bestow superpowers at will by making reality his.
He has also been shown to be able to shoot lightning bolts with his hands, which is a form of Energy Manipulation. He can also make himself invisible, which is another specific power specific for Bat-Mite.