Ogon Bat (Golden Bat)

Real Name: Unknown

Identity/Class: Unknown

Occupation: Foe of evil

Affiliations: Mari, Professor Yamatone, Takeru, unnamed bat

Enemies: Nazo (Dr.Zero), Gorgo, Kurayami Bat (Darkness Bat)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: Golden Bat (translation of name), Phantoma (U.S. name), Fantaman (Italian name), Fantasmagórico (Mexican name), Fantomas (Brazilian name)

Base of Operations: Japan

First Appearance: Ogon Bat (pulps style novel, 1930)

Powers/Abilities: Ogon Bat carries a sceptre which can fire bolts of energy, or cause miniature earthquakes when struck on the ground. Its sharp point can slice through steel. Ogon Bat could fly, was immortal, possessed superhuman strength, speed and invulnerability (immune to bullets and lasers), could breathe underwater, and had x-ray vision. He can generate wind blasts using his cape.

History: Ogon Bat is a protector sent forward in time from Atlantis, and charged with helping defend the modern world against evil forces which might threaten it. He was placed into suspended animation, and buried in an Egyptian tomb.

In modern times Professor Yamatone and his family visited Egypt, and discovered an ancient tomb of some "god of justice, protector of the weak". When he was subsequently taken captive by "Gorgo", agent of Dr Zero, the Professor's daughter Mari pleaded for "the god of justice" to come to help her father. Her tear fell into the tomb and revived Ogon Bat. From then on, the little girl would be the only one who could call the hero. She would fall on her knees and just pray "Oh please Ogon Bat, come help us". Then a sparkle (that somehow appeared around her) would transform into a little golden bat, which would fly around the little girl and then fly towards enemy and take the form of the skull-headed superhero. He would continue to battle evil, often personified in the form of Dr Zero. Eventually they had their final confrontation; Ogon Bat entered Zero's base. Gorgo was badly hurt, trying to escape. Zero's soldiers had either been captured by the army while escaping or had died. The Professor, Mari, his older son Takeru and a family friend narrowly manage to flee the base before it is engulfed in a huge explosion, and all that was left after the smoke vanishes was Ogon Bat's broken wand/cane, and Dr. Zero's mechanical hand. The Professor and his family realised that their hero had died saving the world from Dr. Zero's plans of world domination.

Comments: Created by Takeo Nagamatsu. His appearance in 1930 apparently makes him the first Japanese superhero. When he first debuted, he wore 17th century European-style clothing, had blond hair atop his skull head, and carried a weapon resembling a rapier. Over the space of his early appearances the rapier shifted to become a staff, and he ditched the hat and hair. He was turned into a manga by Osamu Tezuka, but went into a decline with only a few appearances in and immediately after World War II.

In 1966 his fortunes were revived beginning with a live-action movie character with Hirohisa Nakata in the lead role, wearing a modified costume that became the basis for all his subsequent appearances. A year later an anime version which lasted 52 episodes was made. His voice in the anime was provided by Osamu Kobayasha. In 1972 a humorous tokusatsu version was made, called Ougon Batto Ga Yattekuru (The Golden Bat is Coming), where Ogon Bat was portrayed as being fat and incompetent. In 1992 a low-budget Korean movie, Young-guwa hwanggeum bakjwi (Yong Gu and the Golden Bat), was made with the character.

Ogon Bat's original appearance, commemorated on a Japanese stamp.

1966's live action Ogon Bat - the movie itself is in black and white

A later manga depiction of Ogon Bat.

Another early costume.

"Ologhai" expands on some of the above: "The villain's name in Japan is Nazo. In the live-action movie, he was recast as an alien who saw humanity as a threat; his plan was to redirect a comet onto the earth's surface to kill off humanity.

In the anime, Ogon Bat has an evil counterpart called Kurayami Bat (literally "darkness bat"). This enemy has the same appearance as Ogon Bat, but with dark grey replacing the gold on the body and red on the cape.

Ogon Bat first appeared in Japanese kamishibai, or "paper theatre". His original look featured a green jacket with side buttons (reminiscent of 19th century military jackets), green trousers, an all-red cape, white frilled collar and cuffs, golden skull mask and gloves, and wielded a golden épée instead of a staff. From the very start, the hero had the power of flight, as well as super strength; in the anime, he also has X-ray vision. Before the 1950s (usually in manga), he was depicted wearing a ruff collar and cavalier hat, with long grey or brown hair, and his costume would have a more 16th century European appearance.

Also, in the Korean cartoon Black Star and the Golden Bat, the hero has all of the powers of Ogon Bat but the appearance of Bob Kane's Batman (the colors of the costume are altered, with the body clad in gold, the mask, shorts and outside of the cape navy blue, and the inside of the cape and the boots red). This version of the character also was able to fire energy bolts from his fingertips."

In Italy the live-action Ogon Bat movies are known by the title "Diavolik" (thanks to Paolo Cellammare for this information).

Thanks to Carlos Herrera for informing me of his Mexican name and Mauro Reis for his Brazilian one. Manuel adds "Dr. Zero was a big-fat man, dressed completely in black, with one mechanical hand, bat ears (sort of like Batman) and 4 eyes. He could only move with his little personal flying saucer (Ernest Stavro Blofeld used a wheelchair in FYE Only, Dr. Zero used his personal flying saucer to move around). He didn't have a lower body. His upper body emerged from the his flying vehicle. It seemed as he was an android. Everytime he appeared his loud, menacing voice would echo announcing himself: "...ZEEEEROOO..."

Ogon Bat rarely spoke. His voice (in the Spanish version) sounded as if Dracula was talking fom inside a cave. His voice was sort of scary. Add that to his looks and it was like a scary ghost."

CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with

Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.

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