An American comic strip and comic book writer best known as the co-creator, with Bob Kane, of the DC Comics character Batman, and the co-architect of the series’ development. Although Finger did not receive contemporaneous credit for his hand in the development of Batman, Kane acknowledged Finger’s contributions years after Finger’s death.
Finger also wrote many of the original 1940s Green Lantern stories featuring the original Green Lantern (Alan Scott), and contributed to the development of numerous other comic book series.
He was posthumously inducted into the comic book industry’s Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 1999. The Bill Finger Award, founded by Jerry Robinson and presented annually at the San Diego Comic-Con to honor excellence in comic-book writing, is named for him.
The original writer of Batman, a character which, together with Bob Kane, he developed for the comic book Detective Comics #27, published by National Allied Publications, which would eventually become DC Comics. By personality, Finger was shy and retiring, and not very well equipped to deal with DC’s management; due to this, Bob Kane became the dominant spokesman for Batman and ultimately negotiated a contract for the character with the stipulation that Batman always be undersigned as “Created by Bob Kane”. While for most of his career he would downplay Finger’s contributions,
Kane later admitted in his final years that Finger was the co-creator of Batman and that he played an “unsung role” in his creation (while never fully owning up to the fact that he was the one who did the un-singing). DC Comics, while honoring the letter of Kane’s byline, began to publicly acknowledge Finger as a co-creator of Batman and his Rogues Gallery.
In 2012, Marc Tyler Nobleman and Ty Templeton created a graphic biography called “Bill the Boy Wonder” that revived interest in Bill Finger’s name and reputation. In 2015, Warner Bros. and DC announced that Finger would be credited as co-creator of Batman in future projects, starting from the second season of Gotham, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Batman: Return to Arkham.
A 2017 documentary, Batman & Bill, sheds more light on Finger’s personal life and of Nobleman’s efforts to get DC Comics to eventually acknowledge his contributions.
In December 2017, Nobleman successfully campaigned to rename the intersection of East 192nd Street and Grand Concourse as Bill Finger Way. The street overlooks Poe Park in the Bronx where Finger would meet with Kane to hash out ideas about Batman, and is considered the place where Batman was truly born.
Bill Finger Tribute