A monumental Golden-Age writer and creator who was very VERY under-appreciated for his time! Although you may not know his name Bill Finger is one of the most influential creators in comic book history. Finger first began collaborating with DC comics and Bob Kane in 1938 on adventure strips.
Then a Superhero that redefined comic books flew into the scene known as Superman (By Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster) and "S" embroidered hero became a surprise hit (see Action Comics #1). That is when Bill Finger and Bob Kane (along with most of the early comic book world) were busy attempting to duplicate the man of steel's success. And although Bob Kane is often credited as the sole creator of Batman- he is not! Bill Finger contributed much of the early integral aspects of the Batman mythology, including much of the costume design (Kane was largely inspired by The Phantom) that got Batman's look away from being too similar to the Phantom and Finger gave him the name Bruce Wayne.
Comics historian Ron Goulart has referred to Batman as the "creation of artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger"
Bill Finger said this about Bob Kane
Kane had an idea for a character called 'Batman', and he'd like me to see the drawings. I went over to Kane's, and he had drawn a character who looked very much like Superman with kind of ... reddish tights, I believe, with boots ... no gloves, no gauntlets ... with a small Domino Mask, swinging on a rope. He had two stiff wings that were sticking out, looking like bat wings. And under it was a big sign ... BATMAN.
Finger offered such suggestions as giving the character a cowl instead of the domino mask, a cape instead of wings, adding gloves, and removing the red sections from the original costume. He later said his suggestions were influenced by Lee Falk's popular The Phantom, a syndicated newspaper comic strip character with which Kane was familiar as well,
Bob Kane said (and I quote) "Bill Finger was a contributing force on Batman right from the beginning... I made Batman a superhero-vigilante when I first created him. Bill turned him into a scientific detective."
Finger wrote both the initial script for Batman's debut in Detective Comics #27 (May 1939) and the character's second appearance, while Kane provided art.
Artist Bob Kane negotiated a contract with National Comics, the future DC Comics, that signed away ownership of the character in exchange for, among other compensations, a mandatory byline on all Batman comics (and adaptations thereof). Finger's name, in contrast, does not appear as an official credit on Batman stories or films, even the comics he wrote in the 1940s and 1950s.
WHAT ABOUT BILL FINGER??
There is even a large controversy that Bob Kane actually created a "Bird-man" and Finger suggested the character be a "Bat-man"!
Bill Finger said that the name Bruce Wayne was a hybrid of Robert I of Scotland who was called Robert Bruce or Robert the Bruce, and U.S. Revolutionary War General "Mad" Anthony Wayne. Bill Finger did the script for Detective Comics #27 (Batman's first appearance), and was controversially given credit by Bob Kane decades after his death for helping to create the Joker(Although Jerry Robinson is said to be the sole creator of the Joker (and still claims it today (Jerry did the first concept sketch!)) Finger is also often credited with being the man behind Robin's origin story (When it comes to Robin, Finger thought it was important that Batman have a sidekick but it was Jerry Robinson who came up with the name and the look of the character). Finger also sculpted what would be the Batcave, Batmobile, Batplane, Batarang, utility belt, and the name Gotham City. Bill Finger also co-created the original Green Lantern, Alan Scott (with Martin Nodell).
Fingers list of creations is a long one. He seemed to have a "hand" in a little of everything from Harvey Dent and Oswald Cobblepot to Alfred Pennyworth, James Gordon, The Riddler (co-creator alongside artist Dick Sprang) and Hugo Strange. He co-created some of the most well established characters in not only the Batman universe but the DC one as well. And although there are few who rumored him to be "slow pacing" he has over 150 issues of Batman under his "utility belt". (Slow paced? He ought to have beaten you with his utility belt!). Just counting his Work with DC comics he wrote well over 600 issues! The rumors of him being "slow paced" or asking for advances in pay came from very few individuals and Ramona Fradon didn't even know of these rumors while actively working at DC comics.
He worked on Sensation Comics #1, which featured the origin story of Wonder Woman! Finger also worked on the first issue of the Green Lantern and is credited as the co-creator along with Martin Nodell.
The Bill Finger award was started in 2005 by Jerry Robinson (co/creator of Robin and the sole creator of the Joker/creator rights advocate). The Bill Finger award is given out annually at ComicCon International to honor lifetime achievements for comic book writers who have been insufficiently honored for their work in the comic business. Jerry Siegel was the first of two to receive the award (co-creator of Superman) as well as Arnold Drake (creator of Deadman and Doom Patrol). Unfortunately Bill Finger was never properly honored for his contributions to the comic business while he was alive. You hardly see his name anywhere thanks to the Bob Kane, who managed to finagle a lot of legalities about Batman to his own advantage.
In addition to writing for D.C. comics, he also wrote for the Batman and Robin daily newspaper strips, and did work for Quality Comics, Fawcett Publications and Timely.
DC Comics was all "Finger's" and no thumbs in the Golden age of comics!
Every Batman related print and media piece unfortunately reads "Batman created by Bob Kane" but if the world were fair everything would/should read "Batman created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger"!
Characters Created by Bill Finger