An upcoming documentary will shed light on Bill Finger—the forgotten Batman co-creator who molded the character into an icon.
Can you imagine Batman without his cowl, famous cape, gloves, or grey suit? Let’s go further. Can you imagine him not being in the Batcave or having the Batmobile? Even crazier yet. Let’s picture the Dark Knight not having his Bruce Wayne alter-ego and not fighting crime in Gotham City. Scary, right? Those things might’ve happened if it weren’t for Bill finger—the co-creator who developed Batman’s iconic qualities and world.
An upcoming Hulu documentary will act as a tell-all, giving Bill Finger his long overdue credit for creating one of the most famous comic book superheroes. Bob Kane has always been given sole credit, but Finger also had a major hand in creating and co-creating some of the Dark Knight’s most lasting characteristics.
Born February 8, 1914, Bill Finger grew up in the Bronx in New York City during the Great Depression. After graduating high school, he wanted to be writer, leading him to join forces with Bob Kane. Kane would later give Finger a ghost writing job.
After the success of Superman in Action Comics, National Comics wanted another similar superhero. Kane created a character called “The Bat-Man.” The original character had red tights, boots, no gloves, a domino mask, and stiff bat-wings.
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Finger saw the concept drawings and suggested some modifications: a grey suit, cowl with bat-ears, a cape, and gloves. Finger also created Batman’s alter-ego—Bruce Wayne. In May 1939, Detective Comics #27 (now one of the most expensive and sought after comic books) made its debut, with Finger writing the story and Kane providing art.
Finger would later be instrumental in developing Batman’s most famous villain—the Joker. He would also create and name the Dark Knight’s home turf—Gotham City. And what about the Dark Knight’s most famous items? Finger co-created those also—the Batmobile and Batcave.
Finger died on January 18, 1974 from occlusive coronary atherosclerosis. For years, Bob Kane would be known as the only creator of Batman. Later, Kane often repeated in interviews that Finger also deserved credit for making major contributions.
In 2015, after a deal with Finger’s family, DC Entertainment agreed that the writer would receive credit starting with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2006) and Gotham Season 2. In comics, Finger started receiving co-creator credits in Batman and Robin Eternal #3 and Arkham Knight Genesis #3, both released in October 2015.
Hulu’s documentary hopes to solidify Bill Finger’s standing as Batman’s co-creator and not allow his name to be lost to history. It also aims to give viewers a history of Batman with interviews from experts and fans.
Batman and Bill will be released on Hulu on May 6, 2017.