Bill Finger To Finally Get Credit For Batman

Bill Finger To Finally Get Credit For Batman

batman cover

At least once, anyway. It's for the 75th anniversary of Batman's debut.

After nearly 4 decades of unjust obscurity, the writer who helped create half of the cash machine that keeps DC Comics afloat is finally getting credit where credit is due. To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the first appearance of Batman in Detective Comics #27, DC will finally credit Bill Finger as co-creator (well, writer, but the placement of his name just below Bob Kane cannot be accidental) of Batman in a special issue of Detective Comics whose story draws both from the comic in which he debuted and from the New 52.

Though Batman has long been credited solely to artist Bob Kane, Kane is mainly responsible for having sketched a winged man inspired by a da Vinci drawing, along with the name "Batman". In fact, it was Bill Finger who came up with most of the elements considered essential to the Batman mythology, including: commissioner Gordon, the iconic cape and cowl, Batman's secret identity as Bruce Wayne, the Batmobile, Robin, the setting of Gotham City, and several of his most important villains, including The Joker.

This comic illustrates how seriously awful Batman would have been without Bill Finger. Really, it's probably fairer to say Finger himself created Batman with a little visual inspiration from Bob Kane, but Kane was a much savvier businessman and managed to secure a very favorable contract from DC that, among other things, robbed anyone else of credit.

Though Bob Kane eventually admitted that Finger should have gotten some credit for his work, this admission only came a few years after Finger's 1974 death; Kane notably did not make any effort to follow through. DC for its part has never officially given Finger his due, but in recent years comics professionals and fandom have rallied behind the cause of bringing attention to this long-forgotten comics pioneer. In response to this pressure, DC has begun to acknowledge his work unofficially, most recently at Wonder Con, when Larry Ganem said during a panel about the origins of Batman that "we cherish what Bill Finger did and his contribution to creating Batman...".

Of course, he also claimed that DC comics was on good terms with Finger's surviving family, a claim his family immediately disputed in no uncertain terms, indicating at the same time that they may pursue legal action against DC.

DC's decision to honor Finger here may simply be a means of getting out in front of any potential lawsuit. Even so, it's a long overdue tribute to one of Comics' great legends, and if it doesn't make everything better, at least for now more people will be aware of his contributions.

DC has, by the way, declared July 23rd to be Batman Day. The special edition of Detective Comics will be released for free on that date.

Source: Comics Alliance.

Update: Headline amended for clarity.

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I'm glad he's getting credit, would have been a hell of a lot nicer if he received it when he was still alive.

Completely misleading article and title.

Finger is getting a WRITING credit for the old stories being reprinted in #27.
DC contractually still can never give him a co-creator credit.

yeah, things back then were pretty sketchy. To this day there are still creator legacy disputes, such as with Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, many claiming the former did a lot more for the Marvel universe and getting screwed due to the latter being a lot savvier.

After 75 years I'd say it's about damn time. Hell from the sounds of it you could pretty much say he single handedly created Batman since the only thing that Kane really supplied was the name.

I'll never understand how people like this Kane can sleep at night.

RandV80:
I'll never understand how people like this Kane can sleep at night.

Soundly, on a big pile of money. I always assumed that people like Kane and Thomas Edison are a bit sociopathic.

Briantb:
I'm glad he's getting credit, would have been a hell of a lot nicer if he received it when he was still alive.

OR within less than 4 decades of his passing. Who's counting?

Despite Batman being America's #1 comic book hero, I understand there are a number of really bad ones out there. Would it have made a real difference? I wonder...

Aiddon:
yeah, things back then were pretty sketchy. To this day there are still creator legacy disputes, such as with Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, many claiming the former did a lot more for the Marvel universe and getting screwed due to the latter being a lot savvier.

The only thing that's changed in this day is that the contracts which deprive creators of credit are usually more iron clad and indisputable.

They can dress it up and make excuses all they want, but it's simply a fact that Bill Finger is, at the VERY least, co-creator of Batman, and at BEST the guy most responsible for creating the most popular and enduring superhero of all time that shaped his entire world and DC's business for over 75 years.

And that is exactly why copyright laws need to be reformed to protect artists, designers and inventors instead of publishers and corporations.

Captcha: good luck. Fak u, cerptcher -_-

That is AWESOME! But I am still waiting on the credit for Baroness Orczy since you know both men really just changed the iconic symbol from a flower to a bat..... But THAT will NEVER happen.

Well, to me who created the modern Batman was Frank Miller.

Yes, it is completely unfair that Bob Kane gets all the credit for performing a minority of the work. But this character had tons of talented people adding to his mythos.
Unlike Spider Man, or the Fantastic Four (most of Marvel's roster actually) which are nowadays pretty much the same thing as they were when Lee and Kirby created them, Batman changed A LOT from his early days as a simple detective to the powerhouse he is today.

So no, it doesn't particularly bother me that it says "created by Bob Kane"... It could say "created by Frank Miller", "created by Jeph Loeb" or even "created by Cristopher Freaking Nolan" and it wouldn't mean a thing anyway. (apart from the obvious financial question, that is...)

I feel like mentioning: The Long Halloween is my favorite graphic novel EVER.

Headline suggestion: "DC to quit giving Bill Finger the finger".

About time, he was screwed out of the recognition he deserved for far too long, too bad there's a lot of legal whoha to give it fully.

 

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