I sit here at my computer, at 10:31 PST on a Saturday night, looking at the words upon my screen that you very likely see in front of you, right now. The tombstone of Batman contributor Bob Kane reads as follows:
There are probably few things that can bring forth the frustration in a well-read Batman fan, than Bob Kane being f**kin’ Bob Kane.
A long story short for those not in the know, Bob Kane was one of two names credited with the creation of the Dark Knight, the second being Bill Finger. Bill Finger was the feature of the 2017 documentary, ‘Batman & Bill’, which chronicled the efforts of Marc Tyler Nobleman to bring the true history of the creator of Batman to light, a well-known public secret for decades upon decades of the character’s long history.
Batman was not created by Bob Kane. He was not created by Bob Kane with Bill Finger. Bill Finger created Batman in 1939, featuring the assistance of writer and artist Bob Kane who would lend minor contributions to the initial lore, characters, and setting of the bat, yet would go on to be the one primarily credited for the character for the next 70+ years. Bob Kane and Bill Finger worked on the early Batman stories closely, but the name and attitude of the former would quickly push the latter out of any attempted spotlight. And Bob Kane’s rise to pop culture fame was more than enough to push him to entirely claim responsibility for creating the bat. He eventually went as far as to create false sketches for the original character in an attempt to keep that dominance.
Bob Kane lived a life of luxury and fame as a result while Bill Finger did not. Bill Finger struggled to live a humble life up until his death in 1974, which facilitated Bob Kane’s dominance and his sole-claim to the character’s creation for the next 25 years.
Now, all Batman productions are credited as ‘BATMAN CREATED BY BOB KANE- WITH BILL FINGER’. Bill Finger was responsible for every early defining feature of the bat from Robin to the Batmobile. In current years, he’s getting slightly better house recognition, but there’s still a long way to go. To end this little rant, I think we can aim for a higher note, and read his obituary, from ‘Amazing World of DC Comics’ #1.