A historical gem hidden in plain sight…
UPDATED 2/8/19: Bill Finger was born 105 years ago today. Perfect time to re-present this piece from 2018. — Dan
I recently picked up my copy of Famous First Edition #F-5 — better known as DC’s mid-’70s treasury-sized reprint of Batman #1 — opened up the cover, and saw this:
Yeah, a full-on acknowledgment of Bill Finger’s contributions to the creation of Batman. And what struck me is how it took another 40 years or so for DC to give Finger credit in films, on television and in, yes, comics.
I’m sure a lot of you have read this before. Fine. But, I guess it’s been a dog’s age since I cracked this open because I absolutely had no recollection that this was there.
It’s a remarkable piece, signed by Carmine Infantino, who was DC’s publisher at the time and, it turns out, a big backer of Finger’s contributions. (Click here for an interview he gave to Finger historian-cum-activist Marc Tyler Nobleman.) And I say “signed” because I can’t help but wonder whether it was ghost-written by a staffer. It’s quite an elegant piece.
It’s also especially noteworthy when you consider that in Batman #1 itself there’s a laughably hagiographical profile of Bob Kane, which of course is reprinted in this treasury:
Anyway, I just wanted to share all this because it’s always good to pay tribute to the guy who gave millions of Batman fans like me so much joy — especially since he was robbed of that recognition while he was alive.
Oh, and why did I even pick this up recently? So I could talk about the edition on Rob Kelly’s awesome TreasuryCast. Click here to listen or get it on iTunes — we had a great time going story-by-story through this classic. I think you’ll dig it.
— 13 QUICK THOUGHTS: Why the BATMAN #1 Treasury Is an Enduring Classic. Click here.
— A BILL FINGER Tribute: 1939 to Today. Click here.