It might not be Gotham, but the often overlooked co-creator of Batman has just been honored by New York City. New York officials named a street after comic book writer Bill Finger, as his essential contribution to the creation of the iconic superhero was recognized. Finger’s importance to Batman’s history was long ignored for contractual reasons, and it was only after he passed away that his mark on Dark Knight lore was realized. To mark the occasion, the “voice of Batman” posted pictures of the event on social media.
Finger started to work with Bob Kane – who was previously credited with the sole official company credit for Batman’s creation – in 1938. Although it was Kane that originally came up with the concept of The Batman, it was Finger who designed and worked out the character’s look and the overwhelming majority of his traits. His gadgets, Gotham City, and Robin all came from Finger’s mind. Even the identity of Bruce Wayne and the emergence of The Joker came from his imagination. But he initially received no credit for his role in the character’s creation due to a stipulation in Kane’s contract. Despite the growing popularity of the Caped Crusader, Finger long remained a relatively obscure figure in an industry while others took the royalties and credit. He died of natural causes in 1974 at the age of 59, and Kane eventually acknowledged his part in the origin of Batman. The whole story of Finger’s contribution was recently told in the documentary Batman and Bill.
Thanks mainly to the work of his granddaughter Athena, Warner Bros. and DC comics now officially credit Finger as co-creator of Batman, but many fans still look for ways for his memory to be honored. This took a step forward on Friday December 8, as fans gathered to see a Bronx street corner named ‘Bill Finger Way’. The event was held at the corner of E. 192nd St. and the Grand Concourse near Poe Park, a significant area because Kane and Finger sat and discussed their comics at that very location. A longtime advocate of Finger’s work, Batman voice actor Kevin Conroy (The Killing Joke) posted some pictures of the ceremony on Facebook, which can be seen below.
With Mark Tyler Nobleman this morning in The Bronx for unveiling of 'Bill Finger Way'. Congrats Mark for bringing this long over-due honor to Batman co-creator!
It’s a nice way to mark the writer’s work and talk has already begun of a nearby statue. Finger was not only responsible for Batman’s creation, but played a big part in the creation of the first Green Lantern (Alan Scott) as well as working as a screenwriter on films like The Green Slime. He also co-wrote a two-part episode in season 2 of the Adam West Batman series in 1966. The Bill Finger Award is presented every year at Comic-Con International in San Diego to honor excellence in comic book writing.
While it would have been nice for Finger to get this type of recognition in his earlier years, at least all comic book historians are now well aware of his importance. And now he has a piece of a real-life Gotham dedicated to his memory.
Source: Kevin Conroy
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