The billion-dollar hero

Bruce Wayne, orphan billionaire (he was only a millionaire in the original issues) dedicates his life to fighting crime after the murder of his parents. Or does he intend to "exterminate" crime? A more strident tone was prevalent in the early issues, showing how closely the character created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger was influenced by the pulp magazines (the comic book industry barely existed at the time) and by the proximity of the two creators to street life in New York City.

Bruce Wayne was originally a flippant, effete playboy who seemed to project every stereotype of the worthless rich (more or less in a fashion like Baroness Orczy's 1905 hero The Scarlet Pimpernel) but Wayne merely used that act as a cover for his costumed identity as a vigilante with extremely dubious legal authority (it took several early stories for the character to be homogenized into something that had a settled relationship with Gotham's police force, particularly its leader, Commissioner Gordon).

Gotham City is Batman's home (or "The Batman," or even "The Bat-Man" as it was titled in the very first story appearance Detective Comics #27, 1939). At times Gotham is merely the city Batman/Bruce Wayne lives in, and at other times Gotham is "Batman's City" and he treats it as his very own and he battles crime like an avenging antibody attacking pathogens.

With the introduction of a "sidekick" character (Robin, the Body Wonder) the gradual blooming of a family (or "Bat-Family") around Batman began (though it would be decades before the leavening of the cast would take off into extremes of Bat-Dog, Bat-Woman, Bat-Girl, etc).

Adding intimate characters was a softening of the idea of a ruthless anti-hero fighting crime, stoic and alone, but now modernized toward an often paternalistic father-figure who guides other orphans, disadvantaged youth, and would-be co-vigilantes.

Batman as a product and an intellectual property has produced billions in revenue through comic books, radio and TV programs, movie serials and feature films, and especially toys.

Bob Kane, official originator of Batman

The Beginning of Batman

Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson (frequent Batman inker at the beginning) have offered varied explanations for how Batman (and the Joker) were created.

Read More about Batman and Bob Kane

Read more on Jerry Robinson and The Joker


Michael Keaton: 'Batman would never cry' like Spider-Man

Nov 2015: Article at about Keaton visiting a cell-phone store where the employee waiting on him was engrossed in a Spider-Man movie playing on a screen inside the store:

"While on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” Keaton recalled that rather than helping fix his shattered screen, the worker looking at Keaton’s phone was more enthralled with the movie on the screen across the store, an installment of “Spider-Man,” than waiting on his equally super customer.

...During an emotional scene in that “Spider-Man” film, Peter Parker begins to cry. Keaton’s tongue-in-cheek reaction pit the two characters against each other, when he said, “Batman would never cry,” amid other unflattering things about Spider-Man’s “weakness.”

More coverage:

‘Spider-Man’ Is a Wimp & ‘Batman’ Never Cries Says Michael Keaton ...Says ‘Batman’ can beat the Hulk and any other superhero in a fight, going as far as to call ‘Spider-Man’ a wussy - Movieweb

"Everyone needs to stop asking the question of who could beat up who. Batman kicks everybody's ass. And if they won't, I will, Bruce Wayne will."

PC Batman: Arkham Knight returns to shelves in October

October 1, 2015:

"Having pulled the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight from release due to a series of technical issues, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has now announced that it will be going back on sale later this month, at which point it hopes to have rectified the performance problems that plagued the initial game at launch.

“As many of you know, we released a major patch for Batman: Arkham Knight PC a few weeks ago. While there were significant performance improvements made to the game, the teams are continuing to work on the additional updates that were outlined in our previous post. We expect these updates to be ready at the end of October, at which time the PC version will be made available for purchase. In addition, support for all DLC that has been released for the console versions will be in place. Thanks again for your continued patience and support. We’ll be sure to update everyone as soon as the update is live.”

Article at Flickering Myth

Bill Finger Recognized for Role in Creating Batman and Co.

Hollywood Reporter has an exclusive story on an agreement between DC Comics and the Bill Finger family to recognize Bill Finger's considerable participation in the original creation of Batman and of related characters. From the HR story:

"DC Entertainment announced today that Bill Finger, who worked with Bob Kane on early Batman comic strips as well as co-creating Green Lantern and other characters for the company, will be receiving official credit for his work in film and television projects based on his creations.

Finger, who died in 1974, made a number of critical contributions to the Batman mythos, including coming up with the names of the hero's alter ego Bruce Wayne, as well as the city in which the hero fights crime. He was also co-creator for a number of iconic Batman characters including Robin, Catwoman and the Joker.

More on Bob Kane, Jerry Robinson and the creation of Batman and Joker

The bio of Bill Finger that was a significant part of changing the official way DC Comics' lists creators Bill the Boy Wonder - The Secret Co-Creator of Batman – by Marc Tyler Nobleman and Ty Templeton

Bill the Boy Wonder - Bill Finger

Ben Affleck to direct and star new Batman film 2018

Aug 2015: The Latino-Review column says that Ben Affleck will be responsible for a director/starring Batman movie for November 2018 (and that it may be the start of a trilogy set of films from Warners). The column by Da7e also includes a slew of possible dates for other Warner Bros / DC Comics superhero films to come.

"Yes, the Ben Affleck project Latino-Review previous reported is still a go, aiming for November 2018 now. Chris Terrio, who has writing credits on Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice and has been announced as a writer for both Justice League films will write the movie for Ben Affleck to direct himself in. It’s still called The Batman, and it still sounds like it could be amazing."

Original Page 2006 | Last Updated July 2017

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