Thu. Feb 27th, 2020

Who is the real anonymous hero behind Batman?

In the shadows, like Batman, he spent most of his life the author who 80 years ago devised the foundations of his creative universe, Bill Finger. A documentary now claims his figure and recounts the struggle of other anonymous heroes to take this name to the Olympus of the comic.

Because "Batman and Bill", which opens in Spain through TNT coinciding with the anniversary, it's also the story of journalist Mark Tyler Nobleman, whose investigation allowed, 76 years after the birth of the character, his co-author received the credit he deserved with Bob Kane, the only official creator until that time.

Tyler does not remember exactly when he first heard the name of Bill Finger, but his life began to synchronize with his when in 2005, after concluding a book on the origins of Superman, he focused his attention on the account of that forgotten name.

"It has been much longer than I ever thought," he acknowledges in an interview with Efe when asked about an investigation and follow-up of the case that first took the form of a book, but that continued well beyond finishing it in 2007 with the campaign For your recognition.

Under the current version until 2015, Batman was born in 1939 by the work and grace of the intellect of Bob Kane, who negotiated alone the sale to DC Comics of part of the rights of the edition of his adventures with the condition that his name always appeared.

Kane made a fortune, especially when the bat-man television series was launched in the 1960s and this became a massively popular icon.

However, throughout those years, a voice, an interview or a writing appeared sporadically outlining another ingredient as part of the equation: Bill Finger, a young shadow writer who would have helped Kane shape the character substantially, a habitual practice in those years in exchange for a modest salary.

He was, among other things, who defined the uniform of the "lord of the night" (darker and more sinister than the one devised by its supposed author), who invented the name of his public identity (Bruce Wayne) and that of the city where he would act as a watchman (Gotham), who would propose the origin of his motivation as a justice (the murder of his parents), who was a detective and created a whole gallery of villains and plots at his height.

"Bob Kane invented the name of Batman and sought the help of Bill Finger. Those were his great contributions to the character. And it wasn't even completely original, because in the 1930s a character named Black Bat had already emerged, "Mark Tyler denounces, who took his crusade as" an act of justice. "

Finger died alone in 1974 in a Manhattan apartment due to heart diseasethat he could not attend properly due to lack of resources, while his former partner enjoyed rents for many years.

Only at the end of his days (he died in 1998), did he end up recognizing in an overlapping interview the importance of Finger in the whole process.

His restitution, however, was "complicated" from the beginning, with numerous dead ends to deepen the life of a deceased man apparently without offspring, which was a prerequisite for judicially claiming co-authorship.

Even the manuscript of the book "was rejected about 5 times and it took 3 years before finding someone to publish it," recalls the journalist, whose incisive and stubborn character played a decisive role in the success of this initiative against other attempts From the past.

"The existence of the Internet was also very important. Before it was more difficult to mobilize people and show that a certain initiative had support," he says.

In 2015, after a long struggle by their heirs and the Mark Tyler crusade to locate them, an agreement was reached with Warner Bros. so that Finger's name was recorded in the credit titles of the television series "Gotham" and in the movie "Batman vs. Superman".

It was the first time it happened officially and opens the door for many others to initiate similar investigations, for example on the role played by H.G. Peter in the creation of Wonder Woman with William Moulton Marston.


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