This Saturday, February 8, marks the 100th birthday of Bill Finger, one of the true unsung heroes of comic books. In the decades of his comic book career, Finger was one of the most prominent writers of the Golden and Silver Ages, contributing to characters like Superman and Green Lantern, but it's his role as the co-creator of Batman where he made his biggest impact as the man directly responsible for Batman's costume and origin, as well as co-creating characters like Robin, the Joker and Catwoman -- and he did it without ever receiving credit on the printed page.
So to honor the occasion, we'd suggest that you take a little time this weekend to sit down and read through some of Finger's stories to see just how much he shaped one of the greatest characters of all time. And to help with that, I've rounded up ten of my favorites from his work on the Dark Knight. These are Bill Finger's Best Batman Stories.
Q: Why is it that Robin has endured as Batman's teen sidekick, but Jimmy Olsen hasn't as Superman's? -- @doubting_tom
A: I don't know why, but for some reason, I got a lot of questions this week about sidekicks in general and Robin in particular, but this one stuck out for a pretty obvious reason, which is that I really, really like to talk about Jimmy Olsen. It's weird, though, Tom, because you're absolutely right: As much as I might love the guy, he's often ignored in and minimized in superhero stories, something that doesn't happen a lot to someone who was once a fixture of the cast who was popular enough to hold down a solo title for 150 issues. Meanwhile, we're up to our pointy bat ears in Robins, ex-Robins, dead Robins, potential Robins and Future Robins. It seems a little imbalanced.
But at the same time, there's definitely a logic to it, and there are a lot of reasons that those two characters have ended up how they did. It has to do with when they showed up, the role they fill in the story, how they've changed over the years, and the idea that maybe Jimmy Olsen isn't really a sidekick at all.
Over the past few months, Warner Bros. Animation has been taking toInstagram to give fans a speedy look at the skills of the folks working behind the scenes on Cartoon Network shows like MAD. Today, CA's been given a first-look at WBA's latest "WBA Quick Draw" video that sees Teen Titans Go! Producer Aaron Horvath jam on a fun Robin sketch based on the character design by Dan Hipp. The timelapse-y nature of the clip makes it easy to observe one of our favorite talents in animation at his drawing board (or, in this case, Cintiq). See Horvath in action after the cut.
So this is just weird. A video has popped up online of an MMA style fight -- in a ring and in front of an audience, with announcers and everything -- between three guys dressed as Spider-Man, Batman and Robin. I have no idea who they are or where this takes place. All I can tell you for certain is that, for whatever reason, it was a two on one fight, with the Dynamic Duo taking on Spidey, but Spider-Man still manages to beat the hell out of both of them. Seriously, it's just weird.
The Mego-meisters at Figures Toy Company have been making 8" action figure waves with their faithful recreations of vintage Batman toys, but this week's image rollout hits like cartoonish onomatopoeia reading "Rad!" A new line consisting of Batman, Robin, Riddler and Joker figures is set to arrive in April, sporting all of FTC's Mego-like style and some very modern touches -- and that's a good thing. After all, these Adam West, Burt Ward, Frank Gorshin and Cesar Romero likeness seem a bit more accurate than what Mego might've manufactured four decades ago.
So this is pretty cool. Artist Sean Murphy (The Wake, Punk Rock Jesus) is working with longtime Batman writer Scott Snyder on a story for next year's Detective Comics #27, a special 96-page book celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Dark Knight's first appearance in the 27th issue of that series' original volume in 1939. A character in that piece will be a new Robin who will be the first African-American to wear the iconic "R" badge.
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