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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Batman

batman comic bob kane adam west val kilmer batman begins the dark knight
Hulton Archive/Getty Images/Stephen Lovekin, Getty

Some fans and pop culture junkies might like to think that Superman is the most timeless and iconic of all comic book super heroes, but even the man from Krypton who can bend steel with his bare hands doesn’t have the generational reach of Batman.

Unlike most superheroes, he doesn’t have supernatural powers. Bruce Wayne isn’t some mythological being who can fly, shoot lasers out of his body or transmogrify into some other creature. He’s just an ordinary guy using every resource and power he has to fight the good fight to spare humanity the hell he’s been through at the hands of greed and avarice. (Okay, an obscenely rich ordinary guy…) With ‘The Dark Knight Rises‘ in theaters, here’s a look at the unique history of an interesting super hero.

1. Bob Kane didn’t create the Batman we know

Detective Comics 27
DC Comics

It’s true that comic book artist and writer Bob Kane had a hand in bringing The Dark Knight to life, but it was another writer, Bill Finger, who probably had the biggest hand in the character’s creation. According to the book ‘Batman Unauthorized: Vigilantes, Jokers and Heroes in Gotham City,’ Kane had made a name for himself in the comic book industry and often called on Finger to help him with storylines. The publisher of the ‘Detective Comics’ series asked his pool of artists to draft up ideas for a new hit superhero and gave them a weekend to draw and present them.

Kane drafted a masked character with bat wings and the publisher liked the idea, but he needed a story to go with it. Kane called on Finger, who ended up creating the origin story and all the major characters in Batman’s world. (He even suggested Batman’s iconic pointy ears mask and long, black cape design.) Finger went on to help Kane create other characters including most of Batman’s rogues gallery of villains (writer Jerry Robinson created The Joker), gadgets and weapons.

Still, no one at Detective Comics knew Finger existed, so the final credit went to Kane. Batman’s first appearance in ‘Detective Comics’ #27 became a massive hit. Finger continued to work with Kane on the Batman stories throughout his career as Kane’s ghostwriter before leaving to work for DC Comics where he helped create characters such as the Green Lantern.

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