Batman expands to 100 page issues with 254 (Jan/Feb 74), with a new lead story, by Robbins, Novick and Giordano, and also the final Robin back-up in this book, the remainder of the issue being reprints.
Kirk Langstrom, last seen the previous year in Detective Comics, has been refining his Man-Bat serum, hoping to become the hero he had always intended to be. This is the first story in which Man-Bat is not the villain of the tale.
That honour goes to Roy Reynolds, the Getaway Genius, who had last appeared teaming with other Batman villains in a story in the late 60s. This tale is actually pretty basic. Batman thinks he is on the trail of Reynolds, but in fact has fallen for the Genius’ prepared decoy. It’s Man-Bat who is really on the thief’s trail.
Man-Bat does need Batman’s help to bring Reynolds and his men down, but Batman is impressed with Langstrom’s control as Man-Bat, and Kirk earns the hero’s respect.
This is the final story to feature the Getaway Genius, although he does pop up again in this book in the late 70s, while Man-Bat returns the following year in Brave and the Bold.