This year marks the 75th birthday of the most iconic comic book character Batman. The industry has and will continue to celebrate his anniversary throughout the year. Just like the Batman would, one of his creators has been living in the shadows but now seeks the recognition for what we have grown to enjoy over the years.
Now it looks like the heirs of comic book legend Bill Finger are looking to restore the creator’s name in the credentials in making the Caped Crusader. Athena Finger who is the grand-daughter of Bill Finger has gone public with a statement which delves into whats being called, “75 years of exploitation” of the her grandfather’s work. The frustration is centred around Bob Cane being remembered as the sole creator of the Batman when in fact he didn’t do it alone.
“My grandfather has never been properly credited as the co-creator of Batman although was an open secret in the comic book industry and is widely known now. Â It is now my time to come out of the shadows and speak up and end 75 years of exploitation of my grandfather, whose biggest flaw was his inability to defend his extraordinary talent. Â Due to what I feel is continued mistreatment of a true artist, I am currently exploring our rights and considering how best to establish the recognition that my grandfather deserves.”The above response came after a comment was made amongst a crowd that was attending a panel discussion at WonderCon in Anaheim on why Bill Finger has not received the recognition he has deserved over the years.”
After a long pause, DC Comics own Larry Ganem said: “We cherish what Bill Finger did and his contribution to creating Batman, and were all good with Finger and his family”.
Take what you will from what Larry has said but there is a clear disconnect between this statement and the fact that Bill Finger’s remaining family members feel very strongly about the fact that there is plenty of lost ground to make up. They want their family member to finally get the true recognition he deserves.
May 1939 the Dark Knight made is debut in the form of Detective Comics Vol. 1 #27, and Finger wrote the story which introduced Bruce Wayne, Commissioner Gordon, Gotham City, and many other attributes that are used today in the many story arcs and forms of Batman we have enjoyed. Apparently, there was an ‘agreement’ between DC Comics and Bob Cane which resulted in Cane being presented as the sole creator of the Dark Knight. Hence, Bill Finger has been in the shadows for most of the journey.
Bill Finger was also part responsible for the creation of one of the most popular villains of all time in, ‘The Joker’. Bob Cane was quoted in his autobiography saying that if he had his time over again he would have ensured that Finger would have received the recognition he deserved. DC have been feeling pressure to rectify the issue but there are a host of challenges to work through that are associated with the Cane Estate.