Batman's Cosmic Equivalent Is An Underrated Golden Age Hero

Dr. Mid-Nite is an underrated Golden Age hero, which means generations don't realize he's the Batman of the universe!

In the DC Universe, Batman's cosmic counterpart is the underrated Golden Age hero: Dr. Midnight! In 1970's Justice League of America #82, a powerful force threatens Earth-One and Earth-Two, forcing the Justice League to form an alliance with the Justice Society. When Dr. Midnight was attacked on Earth-Two, it sent ripples through the multiverse - knocking Batman down on Earth-One and revealing this underappreciated Golden Age hero's connection to the Dark Knight. status.

There have been several different incarnations of Dr. Mid-Nite in DC history. The first, and perhaps the most famous, was surgeon Charles McNider. After an accident that blinded him, McNider learned he had the ability to see in the dark. Accompanied by his owl Hooty, McNider takes the name Doctor Mid-Nite and joins the Justice Society of America along with The Flash, Hawkman, Hourman and Ghost. Like many Golden Age heroes, Doctor Midnight would fade into obscurity as the era ended, only to be resurrected in the Silver Age. It was revealed that Mid-Nite and his mates from the Justice Society lived on Earth Two, while the Justice League and related heroes lived on Earth One. Annual collaborations between the League and Guild are a DC Comics tradition that extends to It was during one such collaboration by the end of the multiverse in 1985 that readers learned of the connection between Batman and Dr. Midnight.

In this story titled "The Peril of Pairing Planets" (written by Denny O'Neil and illustrated by Dick Dillin), a powerful alien force plans to merge Earth-One and Earth-Two, using the released Energy shapes a new planetary world. Aliens named Creator2 have kidnapped Red Tornado, a being with roots on both Earths, and used him as a tool to break down the barrier between the Earths. Creator2, a native of the Earth-Two universe, then created a series of traps for members of the Justice Society - his first victims being Superman and Dr. Midnight. As the walls between the worlds are crumbling, Creators2's attack on Earth Two's heroes is also felt by Earth One's heroes; when Superman falls on Earth Two, so does Earth One's version. The heroes, including The Flash, have fallen prey to Creator2's plot, and when he attacks Dr. Midnight, it reverberates across the multiverse -- and Batman is the unfortunate recipient.

Batman and Doctor Mid-Nite Have A Lot in Common

On the surface, the two have a lot in common. Both Batman and Doctor Midnight Street vigilantes, both of whom are wealthy and powerful civilians; both also rely on extensive physical exercise and gadgets in the war on crime. Doctor Mid-Nite and Batman also recruit partners: Batman has various robins, and Mid-Nite has owls. With all of these factors in mind, it's easy to see why Dr. Mid-Nite was chosen to be Batman's equal.

Compared to Batman, this under-recognized hero of the Golden Age was greatly improved. He plays an especially important role in history as one of the comic book's blind heroes (if not the first), yet he's been largely ignored. While the character has progressed in Stargirl's live-action remake, Doctor Mid-Nite remains one of DC's best-kept secrets -- despite being Batman's cosmic counterpart.

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