Who Created Batman? Bob Kane, Bill Finger or Both?

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#1  Edited By Psykhophear

I saw an interview of Bob Kane on YouTube where he was talking about his creation of the legendary Dark Knight. It was cool to see, especially for a Batman freak like me but what was staggering were the comments I saw at the bottom where several people said that Bob Kane was not the real creator of Batman but it was Bill Finger. I then saw a few anti-Bob Kane videos informing us that Bill Finger created Batman and Bob Kane took all the credits later on. 
I've always been told since young and it sticks me to this day that Batman was created by Bob Kane because every comic books, films, cartoon shows, video games, and merchandises all say that. I know that both Bob and Bill worked together with the Batman issues but the real question is: who really created Batman? Was it Bob Kane? Was it Bill Finger? Or both? I want to know.

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Cosmic Sentinel


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#2  Edited By Cosmic Sentinel

From what I understand, Kane actually came up with the basic idea of Batman, but it was Finger who came up with his look (as well as much of iconic Batman's lore such as the Batcave, Robin the Joker). Finger apparently was just grateful for the job and never really stood up for his role in Batman. 
Steve Ditko is the exact opposite. He rarely gives interviews, but from what I understand, he resents sharing any credit with Stan Lee for Spider-man. As you can see from his interview with Babs, Stan is quite happy to give credit to the artists he's worked with over the years.  
The industry has been plagued by companies not giving credit to the creators. In Superman's case, it was the 70s (I think) before DC gave either of his creators credit.

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#3  Edited By nszerdy

Expanding on what Cosmic Sentinel said:

I am giving the same answer but with a little more detail to better inform you in case you are interested--

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,

Finger named the character Bruce Wayne after Robert Bruce the Scotish Patriot.

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.

Where things get screwy!!!

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.


Not getting the due credit is why Jerry Robinson (who got screwed out of getting proper credit for creating the JOKER because of the contract Kane signed and the legalities he finagled over character creation) created the BILL FINGER AWARD--(which recognized creators who did not get their due credit).

All print/media etc should read "Batman created by BOB KANE AND BILL FINGER!"

Regardless of that--the character originally would have had a domino mask--reddish tights, no gloves, and no cowl---he was not a scientific detective and he wasn't named Bruce Wayne... Finger also wrote the entire story for the first two appearances!

There are actually books on this subject if you are ever interested---Finger came up with way more of the Batman Universe in his writings and ideas than you might think. His list of character creations is long--and he really does NOT get enough credit.

I go into more depth on what he came up with/created etc here: BILL FINGER

Hope this was helpful!!!


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#4  Edited By vice86

Good doc on Hulu called Batman & Bill that discusses this whole thing.

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