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Batman Co-Creator Bill Finger’s Family Says They’re Not ‘All Good’ With DC Comics

Bill the Boy Wonder The Secret Co-Creator of Batman
Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman by Marc Tyler Nobleman and Ty Templeton

At a Wondercon panel last month celebrating Batman’s 75th anniversary, DC Comics’ Larry Ganem answered an audience member’s question about why Bill Finger isn’t credited as the co-creator of Batman by saying, “we’re all good with Finger and his family.”

According to a press release issued by the Comic Arts Council, Finger’s family disagrees. Athena Finger, Bill Finger’s granddaughter, is quoted in the release as saying it’s time to speak up after “75 years of exploitation of my grandfather.” Take a look at her full quote after the jump.

Here’s what she said:

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.

A lot of people in the comics community know of Finger’s contributions to the Batman mythos, but for much of the public, Bob Kane is the sole creator of Batman. (This Atlantic article about Batman’s creation lionizes Kane and doesn’t mention Finger once, for example.) It was only after Finger’s death that Kane acknowledged Finger’s contributions to Batman’s creation, which included almost every recognizable aspect of Batman as we know him now. Ty Templeton, illustrator of Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman, famously made fun of Kane’s glory-hounding in an iconic comic strip that illustrates what the legal creator of Batman’s sole contribution would’ve looked like.

The press release from The Comic Arts Council closes with this:

This fall, the Warner Bros. television series GOTHAM will feature many Bill Finger creations, including the city itself. Will the series that carries the name he gave to Batman’s city credit him in any way?

Will the Finger family push for a credit for Bill Finger on the show? Things look that way.


Ty Templeton Draws Batman As Created By Bob Kane And Nobody Else

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