Maybe one of the most strange trends in the Silver Age of Comics is the proliferation of superpowered sidekicks. Superman had Super-Girl, who was maybe the only one to make something of herself out of a group that included Krypto the Superdog (who has done okay for himself, actually), Streaky the Supercat, Comet the Super-Horse and an overpowered chimp known only as Beppo.
Batman was no stranger to the trend. There is his constantly rotating roster of Robins, for one, who move along so quickly that Batman himself might have a hard time wondering if this one is Dick Grayson, Tim Drake, Jason Todd or some other orphan kid. He’s also had to deal with Ace the Bat-Hound, though at least he is a definitively good boy despite being a silly character.
Then, there’s Bat-Mite. Where Superman had the deeply annoying Mr. Mxyzptlk, Batman had his own interdimensional imp hanger-on. Like Mr. Mxyzptlk, Bat-Mite could hop in and out of Batman’s reality, oftentimes acting more as an annoyance rather than a help or serious hindrance.
Bat-Mite first appeared in Detective Comics #267, published in May 1959. Thereafter, he showed up from time to time in order to both express his adoration for Batman and show off his weird, ill-fitting costume.
However, after the 1985 Crisis on Infinite Earths wiped the continuity slate clean, writers generally steered clear of Bat-Mite. That was just as well, given that many creators in the world of comics were trying to get others to take their art more seriously. That’s hard enough without a mini-me version of Batman bopping around.
Never say never, though. Bat-Mite eventually returned courtesy of Grant Morrison, who has written some of the best and simultaneously strangest comics titles of all time. More on that in a bit.