With Warner Bros. and DC formally putting the Caped Crusader in the spotlight by celebrating the 75th Anniversary (see "75th Anniversary of Batman Celebration"), questions have arisen in public about the uncredited role Bill Finger played in the creation of the Dark Knight. Finger’s family is responding to DC’s recently statement that things are "all good" with them, because they vehemently disagree.
The "all good" statement was made by DC Comics Talent Relations Director Larry Ganem at the WonderCon Anaheim panel for Batman’s 75th Anniversary. In the Q&A, an audience member asked why Finger does not get a creator credit alongside Bob Kane. After an awkward pause, Ganem said, "We cherish what Bill Finger did and his contribution to creating Batman, and we're all good with Finger and his family."
Today Athena Finger, Bill Finger’s granddaughter, responded through a press release from the Comic Arts Council, a group that appeared last year, and seems to have been formed for the sole mission of getting Finger acknowledged co-creator credit for Batman. "My grandfather has never been properly credited as the co-creator of Batman although it was an open secret in the comic book industry and is widely known now," she said. "It is now my time to come out of the shadows and speak up and end 75 years of exploitation of my grandfather. I am currently exploring our rights and considering how best to establish the recognition that my grandfather deserves." Other than her own son, Athena Finger is Bill Finger’s sole living family.
Finger clearly played a major role in the creation of the Batman character we know today, but whether he should be credited as "co-creator," along with Kane, is not clear to some, and DC credits Kane as the creator of the character.
Finger worked for Bob Kane’s studio in 1938, and after National Comics’ breakout success with Superman in Action Comics, Kane conceived the idea for "the Bat-Man." Finger collaborated with Kane to revise his original design. Finger has stated that he came up with the secret identity of Batman, and devised the name Bruce Wayne, as well as creating the Batmobile, the Batcave, the name Gotham City, Alfred Pennyworth, Commissioner Gordon, and numerous villains. Athena Finger points to passages in Bob Kane’s autobiography that credit Finger with originating iconic details of the series, as well as the word of colleagues who worked with the pair.
Finger was posthumously inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 1999.
Athena Finger was not a public figure in the debate until Marc Tyler Nobleman, author of Bill the Boy Wonder, sought her out for his book in 2007. She will be a special guest at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con.
Bill Finger's Family Responds to DC's 'All Good' Statement
Posted by ICv2 on May 8, 2014 @ 5:12 pm CT
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