The Dark History Behind the Dark Knight’s Creators
Everyone knows Batman. He is the Dark Knight, defender of the weak, Gotham’s watchful protector. And for the most part, a large group of people have heard the name Bob Kane. In fact, Bob Kane has been credited on every single piece of media which contains Batman since 1939.
He is even mentioned in 1989’s Batman film starring Michael Keaton. In it, reporter Alexander Knox receives a ridiculing drawing of the Bat-Man drawn by Bob Kane.
However, many people don’t know that, despite the fact that Bob Kane did have an important part in the success of Batman, his original ideas were vastly different than the Dark Knight we know today.
Instead of the dark pallet of colors, the cowl, and the Bat logo, Kane originally wanted Batman to look like this:
Not exactly the vigilante we know today. SO how did Batman evolve into the most popular superhero ever? Enter Bill Finger.
It was Kane’s quieter, more reserved partner Bill Finger that laid the groundwork for many of the core characteristics of the Caped Crusader Bob Kane negotiated the contracts to benefit himself, naming himself the sole creator of Batman and receiving royalties and credits until he died.
Meanwhile, Bill Finger fell into obscurity and poverty. Unfortunately for Finger, he died poor and unrecognized.
Yet justice is not out of reach. The New Hulu Documentary, released on May 6th (Free Comic Book Day), “Batman and Bill” follows the efforts of Marc Tyler Nobleman to bring acknowledgement to Bill Finger’s efforts and contributions.
The documentary explores the obstacles Nobleman faced in order to try and find a family member who could fight on behalf of Finger’s legacy. I’ll give you fair warning: it is an emotional rollercoaster.
You will feel anger towards Bob Kane’s insistence, even until the moment Finger died, that Kane was the sole creator of Batman and that Finger’s claims to the character were grossly exaggerated. Yet, interviews with their contemporaries all show they recognize Finger as Batman’s true creator.
Then, you’ll feel sadness as the story follows the heartbreaking descent of Finger into poverty and obscurity. You would never think that the creator of arguably the most recognizable superhero would die penniless and alone, with eviction notices pinned to his door.
But most importantly, you will feel hope. You will see the perseverance of the human spirit.
After an arduous road, facing many obstacles the film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice as well as the second season of Gotham finally credited Bill Finger with his contributions as one of the creators of Batman.
The documentary as well the struggle the Finger family has faced is truly a battle any Batman fan should be familiar with. It is a fight against injustice and wrong doing.
It is a fight for those who could not have fought for themselves. It is a fight that the Batman himself would have fought.