Family of Batman Co-Creator Calls Out DC


If you are at all familiar with the story behind the creation of Batman, you’ll know that Bill Finger got shafted. He’s known to have created a large part of the mythos, including the characters of Bruce Wayne and Commissioner Gordon. He’s even unofficially credited with coming up with the name “Gotham”. Yet due to the agreements made with what is now DC, co-creator Bob Kane received solo credit. That means he got the goldmine and Finger got the shaft.

Recently at the Batman Wondercon panel DC exec Larry Ganem tried to dispel that idea saying

"“We cherish what Bill Finger did and his contribution to creating Batman, and we’re all good with Finger and his family.”"

Turns out the Finger family disagrees. Bill’s granddaughter Athena issued a press release on the subject today:

"75 years of Batman! No one could have predicted the longevity and the continued relevance of this comic book hero that has become a cultural icon when my grandfather, Bill Finger, collaborated with Bob Kane back in 1939. My grandfather has never been properly credited as the co-creator of Batman although was an open secret in the comic book industry and is widely known now. It is now my time to come out of the shadows and speak up and end 75 years of exploitation of my grandfather, whose biggest flaw was his inability to defend his extraordinary talent. Due to what I feel is continued mistreatment of a true artist, I am currently exploring our rights and considering how best to establish the recognition that my grandfather deserves."

This is sadly not without precedent. DC went through something quite similar with the estates of the creators of Superman not too long ago, and the sad saga of Jack Kirby’s lack of credit has loomed over Marvel for a while now. I sincerely hope for all involved that DC does the honorable thing and gives credit where credit is due.

For more on Athena Finger and the creation of Batman, check out this Caped Crusades exclusive interview with my colleague Amanda Chrisman.