Let’s all wish the co-creator of Batman a happy birthday — and take a moment to think about how different the Dark Knight would have been without him.
Finger co-created Batman with artist Bob Kane, but — because of a contract Kane negotiated with National Comics (which would later become DC Comics) without him — he never got the credit he deserved before he passed away in 1974.
While Kane did come up with the basic idea of a character called ‘Batman’ by himself, it was Finger who developed the character’s identity and fleshed out his lore.
Writer and artist Ty Templeton — probably best known to Batman fans for his work on The Batman Adventures and Batman ’66 — summed up Finger’s contributions to the Batman legend far more eloquently than I ever could with this comic.
Finger worked on a number of other comics, including the Golden Age Green Lantern’s earliest stories, as well as television.
Funnily enough, he contributed scripts to 77 Sunset Strip, a detective show starring Efrem Zimbalist Jr, who would later go on to voice Alfred Pennyworth in Batman: The Animated Series.
In 2015, thanks largely to the efforts of Marc Tyler Nobleman — the author of Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman, which was illustrated by Templeton — DC Entertainment announced that Finger would finally get his due credit.
Finger received credit as the co-creator of the character in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and the second season of Gotham, and will continue to be credited alongside Kane from now on.
Of course, most Batman fans have known about Finger’s contributions for a while now — and on this day, and every day, we’re grateful to him for giving us such a rich mythos to enjoy.
Happy birthday, Bill — we won’t let you be forgotten again.