Batman & Billl, a new documentary coming to Hulu, is about Bill Finger, the uncredited co-creator of the beloved DC superhero Batman. During the doc’s TCA panel discussion, author Marc Tyler Nobleman talked about the motivation behind his mission to tell Finger’s story. “Bob Kane’s version of the story had been told for 6 decades,” he said, “and that was wrong, and I wanted to tell the story from the right perspective.”
Nobleman’s book Bill The Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman, served as inspiration for the documentary. When asked about the division of labor when it came to creating Batman, Nobelman remarked that “creatively it was 98% Bill.” He continued, “Bob Kane had financial advice that served him well” but as far as the “major elements of Batman,” those can be attributed to Finger.
“The example I like to give is if you just stop a random grandmother on the street and say name something that you know about Batman, she’ll know something, everyone knows something, and whatever that person says will be a Bill Finger contribution. He was that pervasive in the creation of Batman.”
On why Finger’s contribution was overlooked, Nobleman postulated that “part of it was that Bob Kane was more dominate in the business sense.” He added, “Bill was a man who was desperate to create. This was at the end of the Depression” and “he’s getting a chance to write for a living when half the country was out of work. I think he was a little bit more willing to compromise in ways that we now look at as unacceptable.”
Despite his other writing projects and work commitments, Nobleman insisted that his advocacy for Finger’s recognition won’t stop with the documentary.
“I will always be talking about it… there are still a bounty of fans who do not know, so whenever I get a chance to talk about it I will.” He added, “There needs to be a memorial for Bill Finger in New York City where all this took place. There needs to be a destination for fans to pay respect.”
Bill & Batman is scheduled for release in May.