Glendon Pequod Bateman, B.A., M.A., M.F.A., was an elderly widower from Woodsville, New Hampshire; at the time of the superflu outbreak, he was 57 years old. Prior to the plague he taught sociology at the Woodsville Community College.
Bateman was disliked by his teaching colleagues — a feeling he describes to Stu Redman as both "heartily mutual", and well-grounded in the "strong possibility" that their assessment of him as a lunatic was dead on. His wife had been dead for ten years by the time of civilization's collapse at the hands of the superflu, and with no children or other relatives or close friends to speak of, Glen Bateman was already accustomed to living alone when 99.4% of the world's human population all died in the span of a few weeks. Thus spared the horrific trauma and grief that most survivors endured, Bateman made his peace with the death of the old world and took up painting.
Bateman is the first survivor encountered by Stu Redman after his escape from the Stovington Plague Center. He enjoys amateur painting (at which he is terrible), and suffers from terrible arthritis in his joints.
Initially Glen refuses the offer to leave Woodsville and travel with Stu looking for other plague survivors. But he does reluctantly qualify the refusal by stating that if Stu comes by again, he will probably give in and "jine up" with him. Shortly afterward, Stu returns to Woodsville with Fran Goldsmith and Harold Lauder; true to his word, Glen becomes a member of their group, travelling with them to Hemingford Home, Nebraska, and later the Boulder Free Zone.
As a sociology professor, Bateman is in a uniquely informed position to observe the whole of human civilization going down in flames — and then, to predict the various permutations that will result when it tries to re-form itself from the ashes. After being elected to the Boulder Free Zone Committee, he becomes the Zone's recognized expert on the subject.
During the journey west, the group Glen had agreed to join was ambushed by four men who had deserted the ranks of the dying U.S. Army in the last days of the collapse of human civilization. While Stu Redman fought back, joined by Harold Lauder after the four men refused to let Harold surrender, Glen sat down on the road in the midst of the shooting and put his head in his hands. Francis Goldsmith heard him mutter "My God" several times. After the four rapists were killed, Glen struck up conversation with Frannie in an erratic, oddly excited manner.
Glen's group made it to Boulder, Colorado, one of the first to do so. Glen was one of the oldest survivors of the plague to arrive in ether Boulder or Las Vegas, the two major areas where survivors gathered.
After Harold Lauder attempts to assassinate the entire Committee by detonating a bomb at one of their meetings, Stu and the other three surviving men on the Committee (Larry Underwood, Ralph Brentner and Glen) are told by Mother Abagail to go west in a suicide mission to confront Randall Flagg.
As the oldest member on the 700 mile-plus "walking tour of Colorado and points west", Glen suffers the most physically. But his presence, his ironic wit and constant stream of gentle good humor are a source of encouragement to the others. His offhand Biblical quote, "I will fear no evil", later becomes a mantra for Larry and Ralph when they are brought before Flagg.
When Stu breaks his leg in the Utah badlands and has to be left behind, Glen leaves him the opiates he has been using to make his arthritis manageable. He discreetly advises Stu to take a lethal dose of the pills if it becomes apparent that there is no hope of rescue or relief in sight.
Glen is captured with Larry and Ralph just west of Fremont Junction, Utah. He is transported to a jail cell in Las Vegas, where he finally meets Flagg face to face. Instead of being afraid, Glen goes into hysterics when the Dark Man says he will let Glen go- but only if Glen begs on his knees for that mercy. Glen tells Flagg "We made such... such a business of you, and it turns out you're just another roach, running little roach errands!" Rendered strangely powerless by Glen's mockery and fearlessness of him, Flagg orders Lloyd Henreid to shoot him to death. Lloyd does so, but before he dies, Glen says, "It's all right, Mr. Henreid. You don't know any better."
A cheerful, eccentric misanthrope, Glen was very talkative, obsequious, intelligent, and keenly observant. While part of him may have indeed been "dancing on the grave of the world" after he survived the superflu, Bateman is not so far removed from the need for companionship to resist adopting the only surviving dog in Woodsville (despite his clearly not being a dog person).
For all of his cynicism and disparaging remarks about humanity, he is also very warm, generous, and philanthropic towards others who behave in kind, and begins a strong friendship with Stu Redman right from their first meeting. Glen was not a religious man, but gradually came to accept that Abigail Freemantle's claims of an epic battle between good and evil proved true, with all that entailed.
Glen was an intellectual first and a fighter last; he proved that when his group of survivors was ambushed on their way west through Ohio. His mind simply could not handle the intense stresses and rigors of combat. Glen was no coward in spite of this; he literally laughed in Randall Flagg's face upon meeting him and absolutely refused to beg for his release as Flagg demanded.