Mark Mish: 1995 - 2011
Mark Mish is the son of two University Law professors. Neither parent enjoyed living in Gotham City, and both often speak critically of the city, its citizens, and of course its rather notorious criminal element. Mark was different however.
While he despised the city’s corruption and crime, he maintained a fondness of the city itself, as well as its people. In particular, Mark grew up idolizing the Batman who Mark saw as something akin to the city’s immune system, rising up to take on the infection of criminals which was killing Gotham from within.
Mark survived Gotham’s Cataclysm despite being separated from his father due to the intervention of the Order’s vigilantes who just happened to clear out Black Mask’s men from the area where Mark had taken shelter. Interested in these men who seemed at war with the criminals, Mark joined up with the Order as one of their youngest members, becoming friends with a slightly older boy and reformed gang member name Eric “Spider” Needham. At the end of the cataclysm, both Mark and Eric were present for the showdown between their leader, Dumas, and Batman. Mark was among the remnants of the Order who signed on to the Sons of Batman, helping to found their young league, “The Kid Wonders”.
However, after Gotham was taken back and began to recover, Mark realized that the Sons of Batman began to stray from their original course. He tried to help steer them back, becoming a leader among the Kid Wonders, and appealing to his friend Eric (who was a patched member of the Sons) to remind the leadership that there were meant to be crimefighters and not petty criminals. Eventually, Eric listed to Mark and the two broke ties with the Sons, deciding to take to the streets in mask and costume, creating their own take on the Dynamic Duo.
Spider-Bat: 2011 - 2015
Black Spider and Spider-Bat were together for mere year before Black Spider put a drug dealer in the morgue. The brutality of that moment put the partners against each other. With almost no trust between the two, Mark began spying on Eric and it was not long after that Mark discovered that Eric had never actually parted ways with the Sons of Batman and had been receiving orders from the Sons all along, who would use Eric and Mark’s costumed vigilante pursuits as distractions to draw the police away from the Sons’ own illegal actions.
Discovering this, Mark made an anonymous tip to the police supplying them with the evidence needed to connect Eric to the murder of the drug dealer. Eric was put behind bars for three years for manslaughter. In that time, Mark hung up his mask and focused in schooling. Then, in 2014, Mark was pulled back in out of necessity. A classmate was being assaulted and Mark happened upon the scene as he was returning to his campus housing after a long night at the library. After he saved the classmate’s life, his taste for adrenaline had been renewed.
The next night, Mark pulled his old costume out of storage and began splitting his time between the campus library and gym, honing both body and mind. When he was ready, Spider-Bat made his second debut, this time going solo, and becoming something of a campus crusader. I learned of his presence through the chatter and dispatched the Birds to investigate. It was Zatanna who was able to find him and maybe that’s why he’s got such an obvious crush on the magician. Batman thinks he’s too unproven to join the ranks of his “cave dwellers” and I agreed, but Zatanna disagrees and has made him Dark Justice’s mascot muggle of sorts. It is just me or does it seem that maybe Mark’s crush isn’t entirely one-sided?
In any case, Mark did well with Dark Justice, and Bruce, though still against the idea of letting him join the Bat-Clan, at least agreed to give him the chance to prove himself by making him a trial member of Batman, Inc. and seeing how he did. Mark as Spider-Bat also began to get chummy with the Young Justice team, the two parties bonding over having a mutual foe in Gargoyle, as well as their relatively young ages compared to other superheroes. His sense of humor and easygoing nature is probably appreciated by them as well.
Come the 2016 mayoral election, Mark voted for Lincoln March (approving wholesale of his plans to enhance Gotham through technology and especially his pro-Superhero stance) and I've heard chatter that our Mr. Mish may have met with the newly elected mayor as Spider-Bat to discuss Mark possibly becoming the poster child for March's legalized costume brigade which looks like it'll be a hot topic issue in 2018.
Mark Mish was Canonized by the Anti-Monitor and is no more.
Powers and Abilities
- Artifact: Mark has been chosen to join the ranks of a secret team hand-picked by the mysterious Monitor based on some metaphysical element in him that will be of some considerable use in some confrontation in the future.
- Martial Arts: Mark is mainly skilled in Karate, but still has some ability in Boxing and Judo. He has a membership at the Wildcat Gym.
- Dual Combat Knives: Uses a pair of customized blades which Mark has trained himself to become quite proficient with.
- Chemistry: Mark is an exceptional chemist, as evidenced by his ability to create his special capsules.
- Engineering: Mark is a decent mechanic and is good with tools. He is a bit of a computer nerd and is able to build and repair a computer and do some light hacking. He is also skilled enough with miniaturization fabrications as he can craft his interesting little capsules.
- Banter: Though he mostly does this as a way to overcome his social anxiety, Mark has actually found a way to weaponize his constant need to ramble and uses it to taunt his enemies into making mistakes or luring them into traps he has set.
- Combat Capsules: Mark has a variety of special capsules which usually break open on impact causing a variety of effects such as flashbangs, smoke clouds, crystallized caltrops, a webbing or adhesive, tracer bugs, taser charges, tear gas, or his favorite: a quick-hardening foam.
- Grapnel Gun: Since joining Batman Inc, Mark has a grapnel gun. He is still learning to use it effectively however and has trouble finding the right whir speed for the retraction motor, often causing Mark to make bad landings or slam into walls in a less than flattering manner.
- Climbing Suit: Due to his wall-collision problems, Luke Fox rigged up some experimental features for Mark's suit, giving him pseudo-suction cups in his gloves and boots in the form of electrostatic molecular adhesion griplocks that allow him to stick to solid surfaces and scale up and down. If all else fails, Mark has an emergency quick deployment parachute built into his suit as well.
- Awkward: Mark is a little socially awkward out of costume. While he has steadily gotten better at interacting with others over the years, he still has some difficulties and hates making eye contact. Mark was recently finally diagnosed with High-Functioning Asperger’s Syndrome and Anxiety Disorder. Mark has asked Zatanna and Miss Martian to help curb his anxiety so that it doesn’t interfere with his super-heroics. This condition is most apparently by Mark's talkative nature (especially when excited or nervous), his vast wealth of obscure knowledge, his disliking staying still for too long, and his tendency towards blunt honesty. Lacking a deceitful nature, he tends to speak his mind and tell it like it is, even when such stark and frank observations are not welcome.
- Inexperience: Still young and fairly new to the Superhero business; not stupid or inept, but more likely to make mistakes than someone who’s been doing it for years and years on end. Mark's relative inexperience and lack of any real training also means that he is not always aware of things that are common knowledge among older heroes.
- Tone Deaf: Mark cannot sing. Seriously. Not that this fact will actually stop him from trying. Also prone to whistling.
Trivia and Notes
- Unabashed and unapologetic Batman fan to this day; idolizes him and follows many of his exploits closely. Bruce respects his commitment to the cause and thinks his heart is in the right place.
- Mark's upbringing is Reform Jewish on his father’s side and Sunni Muslim on his mother’s side; but due to his time among the Sons of Batman, he can actually quote a plethora of Christian Bible verses.
- Strict Judeo-Muslim diet: no pork, no alcohol, no shellfish (except Lobster, which he admits he can’t resist). He also will not have meat and dairy simultaneously unless it’s a hamburger and milkshake together (another thing he admits to not being able to resist). No leavened bread during the Passover week either.
- Is actually afraid of spiders and only took the name "Spider" because of Eric Needham's insistence. Now, Mark sort of keeps the name as a way of using his fear against evil-doers, which is very Batman-ish of him.
- Likes old music, with a preference for Mozart’s works, “Nessun Dorma”, the 1812 and William Tell Overtures, and, for something more “recent”, Frank Sinatra’s music (with I’ve got you under my skin” as his favorite). Refuses to listen to almost any modern music that is not from a musical or soundtrack music (to which he considers John Williams and Hans Zimmer the best).
- Likewise, has a soft spot for older movies, though he enjoys newer films as well. Can usually be counted on to be watching something with Hot Shot in the pair’s down-time.
- Something of a history buff; can often be counted on to give very accurate historical info drops and tidbits of knowledge. This historical knowledge also makes him annoyed when other people whine about 2016 (as he knows it was far, far from the “worst year ever” or some similar such nonsense). Fittingly, he is majoring in American Studies at Gotham U.
- Describes himself as “mono-linguistic”; all of his attempts to learn a second language have been miserable failures and now he refuses to try again. Taking sign language at Gotham University.
- Enjoys skewering hypocrites, regardless of political orientation or affiliation or background. Not surprisingly, he enjoys Larry Wilmore and Jon Stewart (the TV guy, though he likes the Green Lantern a lot too!). Mark is a die-hard Cat Grant fan.
- Mark has an easier time remembering the names of celebrities and fictional characters than he does ordinary people he encounters on a regular basis.
- Mark is really good at impersonations and doing other silly voices. Interestingly, his "narrator" voice sounds freakishly like Lucius Fox.
- Mark can spout off verbatim movie lines with ease.
- When on patrol or bored, Mark will sometimes begin to whistle melodies from the Wizard of Oz. Once he gets going, he's unlikely to stop until distracted, even if asked or threatened. In fact, the more attention you bring to it, the more compelled he seems to be to do it.
- Mark ain't afraid of no ghost.
- Mark gets "brain freezes" easily but he actually seems to enjoy the sensation.
- Mark says food tastes better when on patrol and is constantly rolling his mask up halfway to snack during downtime or slow moments.
- Spider-Bat has a FaceSpace account.
- Mark has a fake social media account with an attractive young woman set as the profile picture. Mark says he uses this to catfish criminals and claims that he has duped Mad Hatter, Killer Croc, and Felix Faust using this tactic. Unfortunately, he has still never been able to actually capture a villain using this method.
- Due to his experiences with Dark Justice, Mark is actually become something of an occult expert and is not easily startled by much, but he is genuinely afraid of werewolves and gets a bit skittish when a full moon is out. Interestingly, though, Mark has a thing for werecats and describes them as "adorable".
- Mark Mish/Spider-Bat is an original character created by Spider-Bat700. He is an amalgam of Batman and Spider-Man.