February 8, 2014


Happy 100th birthday to Bill Finger! Collaborating with Bob Kane, Jerry Robinson, and others in the late 1930s, Finger is an unsung hero credited with developing many of the major elements in the Batman mythos. Without his imaginative input, we might not have had a Batmobile, cape and cowl, Commissioner Gordon, Bruce Wayne, Gotham City, Batcave, or the archetypal story of a boy thrust from tragedy to become a dark knight. Bob Kane acknowledged Finger in Batman and Me (1989): "I made Batman a superhero-vigilante when I first created him. Bill turned him into a scientific detective…Now that my long-time friend and collaborator is gone, I must admit that Bill never received the fame and recognition he deserved. He was an unsung hero. I often tell my wife, if I could go back fifteen years, before he died, I would like to say 'I'll put your name on it now. You deserve it.'" Finger scripted the first appearances of Batman in Detective Comics (1939) and wrote the character's origin story for issue #33 (Nov 1939).

In The Streranko History of Comics, Bill Finger shed some light on the development of Batman's sidekick: "Robin was an outgrowth of a conversation I had with Bob. As I said, Batman was a combination of Douglas Fairbanks and Sherlock Holmes. Holmes had his Watson. The thing that bothered me was that Batman didn't have anyone to talk to, and it got a little tiresome always having him thinking. I found that as I went along Batman needed a Watson to talk to. That's how Robin came to be. Bob called me over and said he was going to put a boy in the strip to identify with Batman. I thought it was a great idea". Finger wrote Robin's origin story. An essential force in the foundation of the DC universe, Finger also co-created the Joker and the Green Lantern characters. Artist Ty Templeton recently lobbied Google to celebrate this centennial and he shared the graphic observation below of a Batman without Finger. Learn more: Bill Finger: The Boy Wonder by Ty Templeton and Marc Tyler Nobleman, Batman: Complete History by Les Daniels and Chip Kidd,Batman and Me by Bob Kane. Commissioner Gordon design above by Shane Glines from Beware the Batman. See our interview with Glines here

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