Bill Finger

    Person » Bill Finger is credited in 782 issues.

    Prolific golden age writer, co-creator of Batman & Robin and Green Lantern. Finger has been inducted into the Eisner and Kirby Hall of Fames. In 2016 his name was legally attached to Batman for the first time.

    Short summary describing this person.

    Bill Finger last edited by Cosmic Cube on 04/05/24 10:58AM View full history

    Milton Finger yearbook photo
    Milton Finger yearbook photo

    A monumental Golden Age writer and creator who was Finger is one of the most prolific writers in the superhero genre. Finger first began working for National Comics 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 opportunistic huckster cartoonist Bob Kane got busy attempting to duplicate the man of steel's success. Kane created the name "Bat-Man" and a red leotard bodysuit design with a scalloped cape. Kane hired an outside ghostwriter to help him flesh out the first story. Finger decided to use Theodore Tinsley's Partners of Peril as the template for the first Bat-Man story. Kane traced many of the illustrations from the Partners of Peril pulp story. Many characteristics from The Shadow influenced the world of Batman. Finger created the Bruce Wayne identity and suggested a cowl with tall ears or horns instead of a cliched domino mask.

    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, supposedly.

    Bob Kane shrewdly 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. Finger understood that he was hired as ghostwriter and it was not expected that the character would endure into the corporate entity that the brand has become today.

    Finger's vision for Bruce Wayne

    Finger on a 1937 New York rooftop
    Finger on a 1937 New York rooftop

    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 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 coined 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 Joker and Oswald Cobblepot to 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 Finger was notoriously "slow paced" struggling with deadlines but he still has over 150 issues of Batman under his "utility belt". . Just counting his Work with DC comics he wrote well over 600 issues. This is why Gardner Fox was called in to fill in, Fox managed to create important aspects of the character in Finger's absence like the Utility Belt of smoke bombs and the legendary Baterang.

    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. Finger's name was hardly printed anywhere thanks to the Bob Kane, who managed to finagle a lot of legalities about Batman to his own advantage. But Finger agreed to be a ghostwriter when he agreed to do these jobs. Finger wrote two episodes of the Adam West television show where he given formal credit on a batman project for the first time.

    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.

    As of 2015, DC Comics changed the Batman creator credit in all Batman-related material to "Batman created by Bob Kane With Bill Finger" this way they could honor Bill Finger's memory and his role in the creation of Batman. This change was prompted by the release of Hulu's Documentary Bill and Batman which explored Finger's role in the creation of Batman. This was only made possible because his sole serving heir was found, Athena Finger.

    Characters Created by Bill Finger

    OTHER Creations


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