Holy sands of time! It’s Batman Day, DC Entertainment’s official celebration of the Dark Knight’s birthday, and as the internet blows up with tributes to the co-holder of the title for world’s most well-known superhero, Batman v. Superman director Zack Snyder has given the world its first glimpse at his version of two of Batdom’s most iconic elements. We’ll cut to the chase: Snyder tweeted out set photos from his upcoming Justice League showing off the new version of the Bat-signal, and in the process snuck in a glimpse of J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon. Check it out below.
I’m into this very traditional take on Gordon – the trench coat and fedora look straight out of the 1940s, though not quite as deliberately anachronistic as Tim Burton’s take in 1989’s Batman. Of course, we’ll have to wait for a closer look to see if Simmons’ mustache measures up to the high standard set by previous Commissioners Pat Hingle and Gary Oldman.
Snyder also tweeted out a color photo of the Bat-signal as well, if you’re interested.
2016 not only marks the 77th anniversary of the publication of Detective Comics #27 – the first-ever appearance of Batman – it’s also a major milestone in its own right, as it’s the first full year writer Bill Finger, who co-created Batman with Bob Kane, has been given official credit in all DC-related properties. Finger was responsible for the lion’s share of what is now considered essential to the character. Among his creations and co-creations are The Joker, The Penguin, Two-Face, Clay-Face, The Riddler, The Calendar Man. He also contributed on the heroic side, coming up with the iconic bat cape and cowl (Kane apparently had designed a red costume), Batman’s detective skills, the name Bruce Wayne, the setting of Gotham City, Dick Grayson’s background as a circus performer, and the name Robin.
Oh, and he also invented Commissioner Gordon and the Bat-signal.
Despite all that, Kane, a much savvier (and shadier) businessman than any of his collaborators, secured himself sole credit for inventing the Caped Crusader. Finger, meanwhile, labored in relative obscurity, unappreciated and poorly treated by DC Comic (who fired him in the 60s along with several other creatives for – gasp – requesting health benefits). He died in 1974 without ever having been credited for his contributions to one of DC’s biggest cash cows.
That injustice remained uncorrected until 2014, when criticism – helped along by Marc Tyler Nobleman’s 2012 nonfiction book Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman, which brought Finger back into the spotlight – reached a fever pitch. Last year, DC and Warner Bros finally announced that beginning with Batman v Superman, Finger would be listed as co-creator on all Bat-related works, with his first official credit coming just after Batman Day 2015 in the October issue of Batman.
Incidentally, Warner Bros also paid tribute today to the world’s greatest detective with an election-themed tweet.