Did Douglas Fairbanks Sr. Help Start Batman?

Before you say NO! just hear me out. I was doing a little research on the silent film Mark Of Zorro (1920), what I find interesting was that at the time Douglas Fairbanks Sr’s career was going down a bit. So when he heard there was a new book called Curse Of Capistrano, he wanted to make a movie of it and The Mark Of Zorro was born.
Bob Kane must of saw the movie as a kid and wanted to create a hero like Zorro, 19 years later Batman was born.
Batman came out 1 year before the well known remake Mark Of Zorro starring Tyrone Power.
In my opinion if Douglas Fairbanks Sr. didn’t make Mark Of Zorro, I think Batman would’ve never been born. What you guys think? :slightly_smiling_face:


I think Bob Kane and Bill Finger both definitely saw the original Mark of Zorro.


Since the early stories include a fundamental detective aspect of Batman’s persona, they were just as heavily influenced by Conan Doyle. Batman is an amalgam of a crusader, like Zorro, and a detective like Holmes. This is why he can play along the continuum between both. However, since The Mark If Zorro often has been used as the movie he and his parents saw right before their murder. I’d say it’s fair that Douglas Fairbanks Sr. played his part in the creation, but at best it was only equal to Sherlock.

I often think of Batman as “what if Sherlock was proactive in his crime solving. What if he went out looking for cases, rather than cases coming to him.”

I see more of Sherlock than Zorro in the Batman.


In his autobiography, Bob Kane is pretty open about the influence Zorro movies had. He even told a story about being in a “gang” that called themselves “The Zorros”, and including some swinging stunts when they came across another group of kids. However, Kane was known to exaggerate, so him having an action movie fight when he was a pre-teen may be more embellishment.

Also, Kane’s idea for a “Bat-Man” was inspired by the mechanical designs of Leonardo DaVinci.


N–hey, I know you!

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