Character Basics

It's very likely that if you're visiting this page, you're already quite familiar with the featured character. But in the event that you've come across one of the several current versions of The Black Bat and are curious about his origins, here's what you need to know.

Still a work in progress. Don't write to me to correct some minute detail or suggest better wording just yet. ;-)
  • The Black Bat first appeared in the July 1939 issue of Black Book Detective, published by Ned Pines' Thrilling Publications. In all, 62 stories were published about the character between that issue and the winter 1953 release.
  • The majority of the stories were written by Norman A. Daniels, the character's creator, under the house name G. Wayman Jones.
  • Originally, the character was going to be named The Tiger in reference to the scarring lines around his eyes, but a name change was requested in order to be more compatible with the title of Black Book Detective. The goal was to introduce a character that could compete with The Shadow (and not another bat-themed character. See the "guano" page).
  • The Black Bat is really former District Attorney Anthony Quinn. Quinn was blinded and disfigured while trying to protect evidence against a criminal named Oliver Snate from being destroyed by acid.
  • Following his blinding incident, a lady named Carol Baldwin approached Quinn with a plan to restore his sight. Not only is the operation successful in that goal, it also enables Quinn to see in complete darkness. Additionally, the time Quinn spent as a blind man caused his other senses to become unusually sharp.
  • Baldwin remained with Quinn to continue to fight crime. Quinn is also assisted by a former con man named Norton "Silk" Kirby and a bruiser named Jack "Butch" O'Leary.
  • The Black Bat left paper stickers of a bat stuck to his victims.
  • The Black Bat conducts some of his operation from a secret lab. It can be accessed from his mansion through a secret door in his living room and also includes a passage way to a "garden house" outside so that he can come and go from the house without being seen.
  • Quinn, both in his civilian identity and his Black Bat persona, is constantly dodging a policeman named McGrath who is convinced that Quinn is the vigilante in question despite that fact that Quinn maintained the appearance of being blind following his miraculous surgery. Throughout the series, there are hints that McGrath grudgingly accepts that the Bat does a lot of good and may not be so intent on stopping him after all. Quinn, meanwhile, appreciates the challenge that McGrath brings because it keeps him sharp.

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