The True Story of Batman and Robin! – How A Big-Time Comic Is Born!

Posted: February 24, 2008 in Batman, DC Comics
Tags: , ,

“I, Bob Kane, am the sole creator of “Batman.” I created “Batman” in 1939, and it appeared, if memory serves me correctly, in Detective Comics as a six or eight page story, and I signed the first strip, ‘Robert Kane.'” 

 I just thought that I would share these comic scans that first appeared in Real Fact Comics #5, January 1947. They were reprinted in the TPB of Batman in the Forties.

The problem with these pages is that they helped perpetuate the myth that Bob Kane was the sole creator of Batman, Robin and The Joker and did not give any credit to any of the other contributors to the creation of the Batman comic book such as Bill Finger, Jerry Robinson or Gardener Fox.

“I do know one thing though, that in the “Golden Age” of Batman, I penciled, inked, and lettered my strip by myself.”

It’s hard to tell just how many Batman stories that Kane drew due to the fact that many of the ones that he is credited with drawing were actually drawn by others. Kane often would hire other artists (ghosts) such as Sheldon Moldoff, to complete stories for him but he would take all of the credit for himself.

Kane was a shameless self promotor and glory hound, yet I really do not understand why it took him until after Bill Finger’s untimely death in 1971 for him to give Finger any credit on creating Batman at all. In a 1964 article for the Batman Fanzine Batmania, Jerry Bails outlined in an interview with Finger just what contributions that Bill made to the creation of Batman. Famously Kane wrote this letter which seems quite nasty and is just a lot of outright lies.

“I challenge Bill to repeat those statements in front of me. I am sorry that I was absent from the comicdom’s convention so that I could have answered him. The truth is that Bill Finger is taking credit for much more than he deserves, and I refute much of his statements here in print The fact is that I conceived the ”Batman`’ figure and costume entirely by myself’ even before I called Bill in to help me write the “Batman.” I created the title, masthead, the format and concept, as well as the Batman figure and costume. Robin, the boy wonder, was also my idea, . . . not Bill’s.”

I wonder how Kane could have slept at night after making these assertions. Truth be told Kane was not even a very good artist and was very lucky that DC Comics put only his name on that first strip and not Finger’s.

“There is an old saying, ”To the victor belongs the spoils, ” and after it is said and done about who does what on the Batman assembly line, and I do not underestimate all of the help I’ve received, I am assured that in the folklore of legendary comic history of our times, I know that Bob Kane will be remembered as the creator of “Batman” and no one else.”

Thankfully today the contributions of Bill Finger, Shelly Moldoff, Jerry Robinson and all the others who worked on the early Batman comics have now been recognised.

  1. […] information on Bob Kane’s recollections of the creation of Batman and the major Bat-characters here and […]

  2. […] by mathewm1 on July 27, 2008 Back in February I posted a comic story that showed how Bob Kane ‘created’ Batman. My contention was […]

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