I was on Hulu last night, catching up on the television I missed this week, when I saw this at the top of the screen. Batman and Bill.
I had heard about this documentary somewhere. I think it was Jon Schnepp on Movie talk or Heroes or one of those movie talk programs I watch. It was someone who had some knowledge on the subject. The subject of Bill Finger.
Who you say? Why Bill Finger co-created Batman.
As a co-creator of one of the most famous super heroes of all time, you would think that Bill Finger would be a well known name, raking in millions from the countless movies, shows, toys, and other products.
But you would be wrong.
You see, for years, only one man had been given credit for creating Batman and his name was Bob Kane. Bill Finger was a “ghost.”
The new documentary follows the investigation of Marc Tyler Nobleman as he planned to write a book on Bill Finger, and lead a charge to get Finger the credit he deserved in his participation in the creation of the Dark Knight.
According to the film, Finger worked with Bob Kane, taking a preliminary drawing Kane had made of the Batman and giving the character most of his iconic costume, characteristics and origin. Finger spent years writing the comic of Batman, only to have Bob Kane’s name on the work. It was one of the ways that comics were done at the time, but, as the years progressed, Finger slipped into obscurity while Kane became more and more famous.
After Finger’s death in 1973, Kane even went as far as to admit in an interview that Finger was responsible for 50-75% of the Batman. Still, on every place where credit was listed, the words “Batman created by Bob Kane” remained.
The documentary talks to many comic creators (Roy Thomas, Todd McFarlane etc) and fans (Kevin Smith etc) about the trials of trying to find a way to get Bill Finger the proper credit years after his death.
As a comic fan, this documentary really creates a world where Nobleman is trying to gain justice for Finger, a man whose life took a drastic downward spiral. The film tries to keep from painting Bob Kane as the villain, though it does make him look pretty selfish and greedy at times.
Batman and Bill is a tremendous documentary that has some unbelievable twists and turns and an ending that seems to come right out of a Hollywood blockbuster. Marc Tyler Nobleman took what seemed like an impossible dream and made it happen and we are able to watch as the whole story unfolded before our eyes.
Hulu’s got a winner here.