The 110th Birthday of Bill Finger

It was 110 years ago on this date, February 8 1914, that Bill Finger was born in Denver, Colorado. While Bob Kane conceived the initial idea for Batman, it was arguably Bill Finger who actually created him, coming up with everything from his costume (suggesting everything from the cowl with pointed ears to the scalloped cape) to his secret identity as Bruce Wayne to Commissioner Gordon. He would later add to the Batman mythos, creating or co-creating such important characters as Robin, The Joker, Catwoman, The Penguin, Vicki Vale, and The Riddler. It was Bill Finger who gave Gotham City its name. As if that wasn’t enough, he also co-created the original Green Lantern, Alan Scott, with Martin Nodell, Wildcat with Irwin Hasen, and Lana Lang with John Sikela. He later wrote screenplays with his friend Charles Sinclair, including The Green Slime and Track of the Moon Beast, and epiaodes of Hawaiian Eye, 77 Sunset Strip, and Batman (the episode “The Clock King’s Crazy Crimes”/“The Clock King Gets Crowned”).

For literally decades Bill Finger’s contributions to the creation of Batman would go unacknowledged, and Bob Kane took sole credit for the character. It was in 1965 that fan Jerry Bails acknowledged Bill Finger’s contributions to the creation of Batman in the letter "If the Truth Be Known: A Finger in Every Plot. Even then, Bob Kane still insisted on taking sole credit for the character’s creation. Bob Kane would finally acknowledge Bill Finger’s part in the creation of Batman in his 1989 autobiography Batman and Me. It was writer Mark Tyler Nobleman and Mr. Finger’s granddaughter Athena Finger who finally got DC Entertainment to recognize Bill Finger as one of the creators of Batman. In movies he was first credited in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and the second season of Gotham. Prior to that, the only time Bill Finger’s name had appeared on a Batman project was the aforementioned Batman '66 episode “The Clock King’s Crazy Crimes”/“The Clock King Gets Crowned.”

Here’s to Bill Finger, without whom we might not have the Dark Knight!

18 Likes

as illustrated by Ty Templeton

11 Likes

It really was fascinating reading his interview with Jim Steranko.

7 Likes

After looking into everything I feel safe saying that Bob Kane was never going to even try to publish “The Bat-Man” without a ghost writer. Maybe Gardner Fox in this alternate timeline (he ghost wrote many of the early issues in our timeline). Maybe Jerry Robinson has a bigger role. Maybe an unknown lesser writer. Maybe Kane finds an even better writer stuck in a menial job.

I think adding bat ears is something many of the ghosts would have done. It is removing the wings and visible pupils that might have not been changed.

I regularly hear that Two-Face was almost entirely Kane, but I cannot find a good source, and that sounds so suspiciously cutesy. He says he was the main creator of Penguin and Joker, but other primary sources disagree.

According to Finger he had to convince Kane to take away “The Bat-Man”
s superpowers. Based on the context that means without Finger it is reasonable “The Bat-Man” is as strong as Superman.

7 Likes

Yay! Happy birthday, Bill Finger!

7 Likes

I agree. I think Bob Kane really needed someone who could flesh out the character. In an alternate timeline I could see it being Gardner Fox. As it is, it was Gardner Fox who introduced the Batarang, the utility belt, and the Batgyro (soon replaced by the Batcopter). He also created Batman’s first supervillain, Dr. Death.

8 Likes

Interesting fact. It was called the “Baterang” with an E at first.

7 Likes

Bill Finger certainly deserves co-creator credit for Batman.

But then again, so do the creators of The Shadow. :wink:

(For those who don’t know, Finger lifted many of Batman’s characteristics from that classic pulp hero, along with the plot of Batman’s first appearance.)

8 Likes

Quite true. The very first Batman story, “The Case of the Chemical Syndicate” was lifted from the Shadow novel Partners in Peril by Theodore Tinsley.

8 Likes

I know, I was not original in my first appearances.

6 Likes

wow, 110?!
I watched a documentary on him on Hulu and I cried. it was so good

7 Likes

thanks bill.

6 Likes

The true father of Batman, Happy Birthday Bill Finger, thankyou for making Batman for who he is today.
Sad that there’s people who would take all the credit, without giving a half credit to those who help.
Sure I may tell @bigblock66 to make a picture of Ronald Reagan in a Superman suit, should I take all the credit for the beautiful artwork? No, cause Bigblock66 was the one who worked on the picture and made it look awesome, the credit should belong to him more.
Sadly Bob Kane did the complete opposite and giving Finger liittle to no credit at all who gave his hard work and thoughts. Sure Kane may have come up with The Bat-Man, but it was really Bill Finger who made Batman for who he is today.

:batman:

9 Likes

giphy-downsized

Who…me?! :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:

Appreciate the love my friend.
And yeah I agree. Finger should definitely have received more credit

7 Likes

Happy Birthday Bill Finger. Thank you for making one of the greatest characters in history

5 Likes

Happy Birthday Good Sir, and Thank You for Batman.

thank-you-batman

6 Likes