How DC Credited BILL FINGER With Creating BATMAN — in 1974

A BIRTHDAY SALUTE: A historical gem hidden in plain sight…

UPDATED 2/8/22: Bill Finger was born 108 years ago on Feb. 8, 1914. 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.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. Carmine Infantino, Truth Teller

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  2. Happy birthday to the late Mr. Finger. I’m grateful that he’s being credited in the current “Batman” books as a co-creator.

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  3. It was that very treasury edition where I learned about Mr Finger. I was always amazed how many didn’t know. I had learned at such a young age I just assumed everyone knew.

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  4. My understanding was Carmine was no fan of Bob Kane. When he became publisher at DC he initiated the actions that finally bought Bob Kane out of his semi-ownership of Batman and ended his contract to provide a certain amount of Batman artwork (which was handled for nearly 20 years almost exclusively by Shedlon Moldoff). So I’ve long wondered if Carmine was sticking a finger in Kane’s eye with this.

    Oddly enough, under Infantino’s watch that scathing “Phill Binger” parody story was produced, that eventually ran in Amazing World of DC Comics. Seems very strange that they would praise him here and burn him at the stake there.

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  5. Wow! I remember reading Infantino’s commemoration of Bill Finger! I didn’t remember which magazine it was in! (I may have it somewhere!) Thanks so much for reprinting this!

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