Peacemaker: 10 Things Only Comic Fans Know About Bat-Mite

One of the joys of HBO Max’s peacemaker is the relentless barrage of references to other DC heroes, villains, and those in-between. It seems nearly every other sentence has Christopher Smith naming a famous partner or reminiscing about foes he’s taken down. The frequent allusions to Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman further establish the shared continuity of the DC Extended Universe, teasing fans with adventures taking place off-screen.

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It’s as if the world of the DCEU continues even when not seen in cinemas, and the more outlandish character hinted at, the crazier state of this Earth is revealed to be. A pivotal indicator is referenced in Episode Two, “Best Friends, For Never,” when John Economos tells Peacemaker about Bat-Mite. The imp that “stans Batman,” this character has a long and colorful history in DC Comics where his antics have been both harmless and destructive.

10 Bat-Mite First Debuted In 1959 (New Earth)


bat-mite first appearance to batman & robin

The troublesome little guy first shows up in the DC Universe via Batman co-creator Bill Finger and Sheldon Moldoff’s Detective Comics #267. Establishing the blueprint for many more encounters to come, Bat-Mite ventures to Earth as a fan of Batman and Robin. He attempts to help by making their fight against crime more “exciting,” which to him means the bending of a steel bridge and other seemingly impossible feats. He inadvertently interferes with the heroes, giving the crooks a chance to escape. After feeling terrible about it, he executed a plan whereby Batman used a statue of the hero to capture the criminals he’d helped escape. A lot of Bat-Mite’s subsequent interactions with the Caped Crusader would follow this formula.

9 Bat-Mite Aims To Make Batman’s Life More “Exciting”


bat-mite

By the nature of his identity, Bat-Mite adores Batman and enjoys watching his hero perform fantastical feats of detective work and crimefighting. The criminals, particularly with more colorful personas, that plague the Caped Crusader on a daily basis are as fascinating to the imp as they are to comic readers and cinema-goers.

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Bat-Mite believes himself to be spicing things up, adding more adrenaline-inducing events into the mix to give Batman a day worth talking about. This usually results in unforeseen byproducts or side-effects for the Third, but in his eyes, Bat-Mite is doing something good and helpful. His hero’s failure to recognize that is the perennial thorn in Bat-Mite’s side of him.


8 Bat-Mite Is An Imp From The Fifth Dimension


the 5th dimension in dc comics

Whereas the vast majority of heroes, fictional characters, and even the human race reside within the Third Dimension, Bat-Mite (along with all other imps) come from the Fifth Dimension. It operates on an entirely different set of rules as opposed to the Third: for example, what the heroes of DC may call magic is actually advanced science and technology in the Fifth. A mirror of the zaniness of imagination and inner life, it’s an intensely wacky place that eludes characterization almost as much as it does the darker tones of DC. Bat-Mite has even reconstructed and reenacted places and events from the Third.


7 Bat-Mite Has Various Superpowers


bat-mite antagonizing robin

As was foreshadowed, Bat-Mite has the ability to manipulate objects and reality to an extent, as he bent that steel bridge. Like other imps, he also displays the ability to levitate, give abilities to otherwise normal individuals, and even disperse energy bolts resembling lightning from his hands from him.

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The Fifth is home to many abnormalities of reality and therefore render Bat-Mite somewhat extraordinary; however, in the Third, the laws that govern his world grant him immense power over those of prime-Earth. It’s this immense level of power that paints Bat-Mite into a gray area: powerful enough to have it all but either too innocent or incompetent to take it.


6 Bat-Mite Fell In Love With Batwoman


batwoman & bat-mite

Bat-Mite makes a substantial splash when he partners with Batwoman in Finger and Dick Sprang’s Batman #133. The heroine kisses Bat-Mite and consequently sets him on a new path: to make Batwoman the greatest hero of all time, even better than his former favorites Batman and Robin. To do so, he gets Ace the Bat-Hound to track some robbers to a warehouse and gets Batwoman there first. However, the Dynamic Duo arrives not long after and team up with Batwoman to take on the criminals inside. Frustrated by this turn of events, Bat-Mite shrinks everyone in the warehouse, which allows for Batman to subdue the robbers. Bat-Mite restores things to normal and quickly makes himself scarce given the heroes’ suspected retribution.


5 Bat-Mite and Mr. Mxyzptlk Have A Longstanding Rivalry


mr mxyzptlk vs bat-mite

Another notable imp and resident of the Fifth is Mr. Mxyzptlk, a villain of Superman who oftentimes proved more a nuisance, but notoriously upped his game in Alan Moore and Curt Swan’s Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? The two most infamous imps of the DCU have clashed on several different occasions, not unlike their heroic counterparts.

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He literally tries to be the bigger agitation for Batman and Superman in Jerry Coleman and Sprang’s World’s Finest #113, resulting in the two imps arguing over their respective motivations. Bat-Mite claims he does what he does to help Batman and Robin, while Mr. Mxyzptlk tries to antagonize Superman. In a way, the latter is Bat-Mite’s first true villain in a burgeoning rogues gallery.


4 Bat-Mite Visited Earth-Prime (The Real World)


bat-mite meets marvel editor

Having comic book characters cross over and interact with real-world figures is a tricky feat that even the most skilled writers struggle to execute. A character like Bat-Mite, however, lends itself to meta moments like what occurs in Detective Comics #482, told by Bob Rozakis and illustrated by Michael Golden. The imp crosses over into the real world, which is an actual location in the DC Multiverse (designated Earth-Prime) and implores the editors to give him his own starring piece in the next batman family. Cameos from real-life DC artists, editors, and writers (including those who worked on this story) compliment a silly fun for a lovably silly character.




3 Bat-Mite Experiences A Version Of Knightfall


bat-mite in mitefall

One of Batman’s most famous (or infamous) episodes is known as knightfall: in it, the wickedly-powerful Bane manages to break the Caped Crusader’s back and render him out of action for a while. Following his idol’s example, Bat-Mite (and the Fifth Dimension) experiences their own version of these traumatic events. The cleverly-titled Mitefall, written by Alan Grant and drawn by Kevin O’Neill, is framed as a vision from an Arkham Asylum inmate, thus throwing into question the validity of its occurrence. While an ingenious idea, Mitefall is a one-shot, and DC has not allowed Bat-Mite to retell or reenact any other classic Batman stories since.


two Bat-Mite And The Batman Of Zur-En-Arrh


bat-mite & the batman of zur-en-arrh

Bat-Mite is a sensational character, so it’s completely plausible that heroes may mistake him for a hallucination. That’s exactly what the Arkham Asylum inmate presumes in Mitefall; however, even Batman falls prey to this malady during the events of batman rip

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In a terrifying reveal via Grant Morrison and Tony S. Daniel’s Batman #678, Batman becomes possessed by the metaphysical concept of Zur-En-Arrh, a particularly murky concept in DC lore. Regardless, Bat-Mite appears once the hero is possessed and is revealed to be the personification of Bruce Wayne’s rational mind, desperately trying to keep Zur-En-Arrh from taking things beyond the point of return. While he’s not actually present, the idea that Bat-Mite serves as the reasonable one in a Batman story is a great example of subversive storytelling.


1 Bat-Mite Is Exiled To Earth, Then Promptly Brought Back (Prime Earth)


bat-mite exiled from his dimension

A new continuity makes for a new standard of living for Bat-Mite, with the character receiving his very own eponymous miniseries. Written by Dan Jurgens and illustrated by Corin Howell, Bat Mite #1-6 is a unique tale with themes of home and purpose and imbues the previously-comical character with a great angle for storytelling. It’s also fittingly ridiculous: Bat-Mite is exiled from the Fifth by the Council of Mites due to his repeated infractions regarding interfering with other worlds’ events. He’s sent to Prime Earth (the mainline DCU) but only finds more things to mess up. Bat-Mite attempts to help heroes like Hawkman and even Robin but is eventually taken back by the Council of Mites to the Fifth. The reason? After placing him in a new world, it turns out Bat-Mite is still Bat-Mite and continues to interfere.

NEXT: Dark Knight: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Christian Bale’s Batman

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