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Off My Mind: How Would Bat-Mite and Mr. Mxyzptlk fit in DC's 'The New 52'

Is there a place for these two mischievous characters in today's continuity?

The new DC Universe is a mix of new and familiar elements. The world of Batman has remained pretty much the same to what it was prior to Flashpoint but we're seeing some changes in Superman's beginnings. Besides these two, the rest of the DCU has developed a different feel to it. In many ways, the overall vibe is darker with more elements of violence.

With the return and reintroduction to many elements in the characters' history, we're left wondering how much of the prior history will remain and what will be erased. Two characters we haven't seen or heard about are Bat-Mite and Mr. Mxyzptlk.

Part of the idea of 'The New 52' was to allow the DC Universe a chance to have a soft reset with certain characters. New readers are wanted so this time is being used to reintroduce characters to everyone. While the climate might be a little different than what we had a few months ago, would it be possible for either Mr. Mxyzptlk or Bat-Mite to exist in this continuity?

== TEASER ==

Mxyzptlk made his first appearance in 1944 and Bat-Mite in 1959. With the Golden and Silver Age, the mood of comics was drastically different that it is today. During the 50s, many stories had to be toned down due to the inception of the Comics Code. This allowed more opportunities for goofier adventures, the kind that both of these imps from the fifth dimension were perfect for.

That being said, there are plenty of longtime readers that might rather these two stay out of current continuity. Just as they could be annoying to Superman and Batman, they could be annoying to readers. They did manage to lighten up stories but the question of whether or not they ever really added anything to stories is debatable. Both were thorns in the heroes' sides. Because of their ability to utilize magic, they have an advantage over both powerful heroes. They are able to defeat them in ways the normal villains can't. It's because of their silly nature that Batman and Superman are able to outwit them.

The characters in 'The New 52' have, in some ways, recaptured some of the Golden and Silver Age feel. Superman bears a closer resemblance to his first appearance in Action Comics #1 and other characters also have a more classic feel to them. Yet there has been a bit more violence in certain titles. When you look at some of the events occurring in titles such as Deathstroke, Green Lantern Corps, Suicide Squad and so forth, it'd be hard to imagine two playful characters like Mxyzptlk and Bat-Mite residing that same comic universe.

Sometimes when characters are made a little darker and edgier, they become more interesting. As mischievous as these two could be, why not bring them back with a darker feel?

When we saw Bat-Mite during Grant Morrison's Batman, R.I.P., he was not the joking fun-loving character we knew. Of course it was implied that the Bat-Mite appearing in R.I.P. was a product of Bruce Wayne's delusions and wasn't the joking menace we had seen before.

Normally characters turning dark or 'extreme' often fail, this could be an opportunity to give both Superman and Batman some deadly challenges. We've seen them best the villains so many times they barely have to put up an effort in fighting them. While having characters with the ability to use magic to do whatever they want might be a stretch, having them become truly mischievous and even deadly could give these two a challenge we haven't seen before.

We actually have seen a deadlier version of Mxyzptlk way back in 1963's Adventure Comics #310.

The Legion of Super-Heroes were facing a deadly threat at the hands of a mysterious masked man. He actually started killing off the Legionnaries one at a time. He displayed he could easily duplicate their powers. When they humiliated him, he showed no mercy. Even Superboy nearly died at his hands if not for a last minute save.

It turned out this deadly deadly masked man was actually a descendant of Mxyzptlk. Instead of being the pestering imp that Superboy knew, this one was determined to kill off the entire Legion. He would have gotten away with it too if it wasn't for the meddling Superboy that managed to outwit him (and of course, reversed the deaths of all the Legion). This does show how deadly Mxyzptlk could be if that direction was decided upon.

We are seeing some drastic changes with some characters. This is the time to take chances. There will always be some nostalgia when it comes to these two characters but let's see them used as more than comedy relief. We don't necessarily have to see a bloodbath in comics but look at how successful characters like Joker or James Gordon Jr. have been recently. It's that creepy darkness that resides inside them that sends chills down your spine as you read their stories. Comics should be bright and cheerful at times. We want to see the good guys win but how about turning these two characters into more menaces than annoyances.

It might be wishful thinking to see darker versions of these two but it's the only way they could actually work in the current continuity. Am I the only one that wants to see the return of Mxyzptlk and Bat-Mite? They probably are the answer to...everything.

Then again, maybe not.

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Posted by Skogen

Ugh, I try not to think about it...

Posted by feebadger

Get Red Arrow back on the smack and VOILA! Instant re-appearance of Bat Mite and Mxyzptlk!

Edited by NightFang

The'll probably be darker and act more like deities trying to manipulating their favorite or "hated" heroes and villains for their own entertainment.

Posted by higher_evolutionary

they wont they are really dated, and should not appear at least within 12 month of the relaunch
however thou most books are really dark, i could use a good humur

Posted by The_Tree

I'd love to see them again. Would love it even more if they incorporated Larry from the Teen Titans cartoon, and had him work with Bat-Mite.

Posted by Evpraksiya
@NightFang said:

The'll probably be darker and act more like deities trying to manipulating their favorite or "hated" heroes and villains for their own entertainment.

Hope so...if they have to be here for good...
Posted by Utandi

Great article!

Menacing versions of them could actually work.

Posted by darth_brendroid

I like Mxy, to be honest. It's just the trouble of finding a good way for him to fit that keeps him similar enough to before but more in tune with this new direction for DC. Perhaps they could play up his mischievous side a little bit, make him more of a trickster 'god' who dabbles in human affairs. Less of a jokey character and more of a character who deliberately plans on upsetting things and that sorta thing.

I can sorta see Mxy trying to convince Luthor that a form of kryptonite it will weaken Superman but instead it increases his powers lol. Maybe kinda like the Dream Lord from last year's Doctor Who as well; he came across as menacing whilst also being very much a trickster.

Posted by Eyz

Well comics should always be fun, no matter how dark or serious some stories can turn out like. I mean, it's supposed to be "entertainment", right?

Btw, I just noticed how serious and lacking humor DC's current lineup is... Not a single really funny title? I'm not asking for Ambush Bug (...well, now that I think of it, YES I am!!) but genuinely funny and good hearted titles? I mean even Marvel's line covers a wider range of types of storytelling! Can't we have something like Ambush Bug, Plastic Man, Elongated Man (bring him back!!!), Angel & The Ape or Blue Devil back?!!!

Posted by darth_brendroid

@Eyz: Humour never goes amiss; and I think maybe DC was trying too hard to reach the people who think comics are still just funny kiddy books. Perhaps that's why most of them are reasonably serious-ish.

Posted by Planewalker

God I hope not...

Posted by Hit_Monkey
@feebadger said:

Get Red Arrow back on the smack and VOILA! Instant re-appearance of Bat Mite and Mxyzptlk!

Edited by kfhrfdu_89_76k




What`s the matter with you three!?

I like them. Especially if they don`t try to kill everyone.

Posted by GothamRed

they'll come back eventually, just give it time, there's no rush

Posted by fodigg

Honestly, I think they should be dream elements like from the Sandman titles. Like the Cain and Abel characters there.

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

I think you hit on something that shows just how difficult it would be to bring back Mxy or Mite. Both are products of the Golden and Silver Age and offer a more humorous edge to the story that sometimes was sorely needed. That being said, we are in our current age with a DCU that now has a more darker, violent undertone. If Mxy and Mite adapt to this darkness as well then we run the risk of having them turn into characters that are wholly unnecessary. I think my biggest confusion with it all is just the fact of where they come from and how it could be assimilated into the New 52, the Fifth Dimension. In the old DCU it was given that this realm was part of the Multiverse, but with how streamlined things have become in the new order, will introducing characters from this place just confuse readers now? This whole New 52 concept is a perfect jumping on point for new readers, but the origins of such characters as Mxy and Mite will just confuse these new readers, possibly even discourage them. I say if you're going to include them, change the origin. No more Fifth Dimension, and then all is well.

Posted by ltbrd

I would reduce them to the same function as Yz, the Thunderbolt where they have to be bound to a third dimensional being in order to leave the 5th Dimension and have any powers in this reality. Once bound they can use magic based on the specifically worded commands of the being they're bound to.

So the first time Superman meets Mxy is when some young wannabe magic users summon him by mistake and Mxy gets bound to one of them. After this encounter Mxy gains a liking to being in the third dimension and though he can't get out on his own he tries to corrupt people to free him by appearing in their dreams. This leads him into further confrontations with Superman and other heroes but it doesn't happen as often, the heroes need only break/dissolve the magical contract between Mxy and his host, and his power is much less than before as he is not free to do what he wants.

With Bat-Mite I guess you can do the same thing and keep the idea that Bat-Mite, being friends with Mxy and watching what he does in the third dimension, idolizes Batman and so tries to help him rather than cause problems like Mxy. So in some story where Batman is dealing with mystical forces Bat-Mite gets summoned and attached to him. This annoys Batman, naturally, and he wants nothing to do with him but comes to realize he'd be a good aid against future magical threats. So in a different mindset to older versions, Batman actually uses Bat-Mite like a tool whenever he feels he needs a bit extra muscle for a magical problem. This kind of makes sense in a way because if Batman has access to this powerful magical being, even as annoying as he can be, he would use him (it?) to gain an advantage. But just like Yz and Mxy the powers of Bat-Mite are greatly reduced and dependent on Batman's specifically worded commands.

Posted by etragedy
Posted by Sammo21

What would be the best way to bring them into New 52 DC Universe?

Not To

Posted by Daveyo520

Hopefully they don't.

Posted by Druid

You've gone too far this time.

Posted by DarqKnight

It's simple. Use the concept of Grant Morrison's Bat-Mite from Batman: R.I.P. for Mxy and Bat-Mite, They are part of Supes and Bats imagination. It could make interesting stories for the more obscene or less realistic adventures.

Posted by Danial79

I can't stand silly characters like these, so I hope they never return.

Posted by Misterwizz

Batmite didn't even excist in the new earth connitunity, so what would be the point of bringing him back? Mr. Mxyzptlx did however appear in the new earth conitunity, so I don't see any problem with him showing up. So I say yes to that.

Posted by chalkshark

Not only would they be a great fit for the "New' DC Universe, but, conceivably, they could fix everything that's wrong with it.

Posted by The Stegman

Mr. Mxy, yes

Bat mite, no

Posted by Or35ti

I wouldn't mind, depends how they were handled. I do want to see Johnny/Jakeem Thunder and the Thunderbolt back again. I always thought they were interesting. Maybe in Earth-Two. But I think they should pick Jakeem in hope of modernizing Earth-Two and not just half-assing it by giving us a replica of how it was before the Modern Age.

Posted by smcauley600

no p;easee no bat mite was stupid an anyway batman comics to dark nowadays to include him

Posted by Chibi-Iroh

I hope they do and I hope they get new looks as well as new characterizations.

Posted by JonesDeini

@Sammo21 said:

What would be the best way to bring them into New 52 DC Universe?

Not To

Perfectly said. As much as I love the cookie, silliness of the Silver Age it needs to be left there. These characters serve no purpose in modern stories (don't care if Mite was in R.I.P.) so let them rest as they should, memories.

Posted by Migz13

They'll reappear one way or another. It's only a matter of time.

Posted by Sammo21

@JonesDeini: its a problem I find with DC in general...they constantly want to make me care about silver age stuff that I just don't.

Posted by JonesDeini

@Sammo21 said:

@JonesDeini: its a problem I find with DC in general...they constantly want to make me care about silver age stuff that I just don't.

Glad to see I'm not the only one who's long tired of their fetishism and their generally retrogressive imperative.

Posted by Billy Batson

Not these clowns again.

Posted by Billy Batson

Well, okay I love them but they don't fit the new universe...yet.

Posted by Sammo21

@JonesDeini: I think the tipping point was DC giving Batman over to Grant Morrisson. I like about 10% of his work and the rest I think is total garbage. I don't think he did 1 positive thing in his entire run of Batman and most of it was...*drum roll* all silver age pointing back to BS. Just gave me a bad taste in my mouth.

Posted by The Lobster

Screw Batmite and Mxy...
When it comes to wacky DC characters who break the forth wall, Ambush Bug has got them both beat. 

Posted by Samimista

Bat-Mite is so adorable.

Posted by kennybaese

I always thought that the use of Bat-Mite in RIP was kind of rad. It would be interesting to see them come back, but only really in a way similar to the way that Bit-Mite was integrated into RIP, as hallucinations or something similar. As actual imps some the 5th dimension or whatever, not so much.

Posted by Mysterioz

lol ANTI LIFE = them XD

Posted by Rainy


Posted by MikeLitoris

I think it could work. Emperor Joker was one of my favorite Superman story arcs.

Posted by Bestostero

I could do without these two...honestly.

Posted by RedOwl_1

Yeah it will be cool see them as "mini jokers" more than annoying little guys, like Smurfs (I'm not Gargamel but for me they are more annoying than cute) but unless they weren't more "malicious" I don't think there's a place where they can fit this new universe. This bunch of new comics are more... mmmm ... mature for that kind characters?

I think they are kinda silly but if they find a way to bring them back, is alright for me. I don't get affected

Posted by Nathaniel_Christopher

Did Bat-Mite even actually exist in New Earth Continuity after Zero Hour and Infinite Crisis?

Personally I wouldn't mind seeing them again. The Silver Age is full of classic stories and I never mind callbacks to them. This makes me want to go find my cousin's copy of World's Funnest or Superman/Batman Generations.

And where's that last pick from that show's Darkseid laughing with note about mite and myx equaling anti life?

Posted by Kal'smahboi

I hope Mxy makes a return. I don't want him to be dark either. He should be the same thing he's always been to Superman, a pain in the arse.

Posted by They Killed Cap!

I think they are a fun an interesting part of the Universe...I wish they would bring them in but in a appropriate manner

Posted by realsilverjunk

Hopefully they do bring them back, they were pretty cool and added a mystery to DC about beings so evolved they were beyond logic. I'm sure they can fit in one of the comics, if not just the 52, then some branch.

Posted by FalcomAdol

The longer Morrison is allowed to continue to work with DC characters, the closer to 100% the chance of such things happening becomes.

Someone stop him before he kills again.

Posted by Jekylhyde14

Morrison gave us the perfect explanation for Bat-Mite, Mxyzptlk, and the 5th Dimension in Batman R.I.P. At one point, Batman asks "Might": "Are you really an imp from the fifth dimension or just a figment of my imagination?" Might replies: "Imagination is the fifth dimension." Which, aside from being a brilliant piece of writing, fits in with what I know about the occultist definition of magic. The occult identifies some of the most important magic as being from the realm of the abstract. So the place where magic resides is the same place where human thoughts, ideas, and imagination become reality. So everything we think of but know can't be true can exist with magic. Every abstract we know isn't an absolute becomes more powerful with magic. But, at the end of the day, it's all just imagination and human ingenuity. We see great examples of magic every day without ever considering it. Love isn't solid and can't be quantified in any logical, scientific way but it can give people the strength and motivation to do some incredible and often difficult things. Many religions are not backed up by science or historical fact, but the faith people put behind them give these beliefs power in the real world. In my opinion, these things are real magic in practice. When you use the abstract to power your actions in the physical world. I believe this is what Morrison was getting at by using Bat-Mite in R.I.P. Was Bat-Mite physically there? No. But the fact that Batman could see and believe in him gave the hallucination power to help guide Bruce through the worst of the Black Glove's attack. This was the perfect way to use the character of Bat-Mite in a comic universe marred by psuedo-"realism" and cynicism. If Bat-Mite and Mxy have any hope at all in the DCnU, it's through this method. They're both imaginary and real because our imaginations shape the world we live in every day. If you can believe in that, then you'll probably be interested in their future appearances. If you can't, I'm sure Batman's chasing down a deranged serial killer or some generic mobster in another book.

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