Note: The following article is to express Bill Finger's importance to Batman. Since Bob Kane hid the truth and because Batman was created so long ago, it's hard to get exact details about the situation. This article was made to the best of my abilities, from the small amount of information that's been revealed.
Bill Finger is one of the creators of Batman. Batman was created in 1939 and was an idea that Bob Kane, an artist, came up with. Bob Kane went to Bill Finger, to help him create Batman. Sadly, Bob Kane was considered to be the one and only creator of Batman, for over 70 years. However, that is not the case. In fact, if anybody deserves to be called Batman's creator, it's Bill Finger.
Although Batman was Bob Kane's idea, Bill Finger created a majority of Batman's personality traits. Bob Kane wanted Batman to be a dark vigilante, who would shoot his enemies, if necessary. This darker version of Batman lasted for about a year. Batman had no sidekicks, no origin and very few personality traits, aside from being a guy who violently attacked criminals.
However, comic-book creators were being pressured into making comics less dark, due to how many kids were reading the comics. This allowed the opportunity, for Bill Finger's ideas to shine through. Bill came up with the origin, about Bruce Wayne's parents. Also, he decided to make Batman a hero, who didn't kill anybody, not even his most evil enemies. Together, Bob and Bill added a sidekick, named Robin and with help from the incredibly-underrated Jerry Robinson, they created the Joker.
Bob Kane wasn't thrilled about how bright and colorful Batman had become. I'm not sure how Bill Finger felt about the new direction, but it did gave him a chance to express his creativity. Since the Batman comics were becoming more lighthearted and fun, Bill got to show off his eccentric and wonderful imagination. Bill got to create a variety of gimmicky villains, who had colorful designs and unique personalities. Batman got several new gadgets and sidekicks. Also, Batman's personality had changed. He was no longer a brooding vigilante. He had become a happy, kind, compassionate hero, who was like a father to Robin and was a symbol of hope for his fans.
The Batman comics, from the 1940's and early 50's, were incredibly imaginative and fun. During that time, Bill Finger wrote a large amount of fantastic Batman comics. Things started changing in the late 50's. Batman's popularity was starting to go down, so in an attempt to make Batman relevant, weird sci-fi stories were being written, which involved aliens, spaceships, other planets, etc. These stories weren't very good, but it wasn't Bill Finger's fault. He was being pressured into writing stories he wasn't interested in. Bill wanted Batman to be a detective, but he was very interested in writing detective stories. However, in the 50's, Batman was becoming less and less of a detective.
In the 1960's, Batman's popularity was becoming smaller and smaller. In order to change this, there was an attempt to make Batman more serious. However, this was only in the comics. In 1966, the Batman TV show came out. The TV show was heavily influenced, by Bill Finger's creative imagination and colorful designs. The show's versions of Batman, Robin and the villains were very similar to how Bill Finger imagined them. Adam West was an exaggerated version of what Batman acted like, in Bill Finger's comics. Bill Finger had made Batman a very campy, but heroic, loveable and inspiring hero and Adam West did a perfect job, at playing that version of Batman. Bill Finger even wrote two episodes of the show. The episodes were a two-parter, that had the Clock King as the villain. Bill Finger actually got credited as one of the writers of these episodes, which is a credit the comics weren't giving him.
Sadly, it was around this time, that Bill's writing days were coming at an end. Bill wasn't doing well, in terms of money and health. Although he had gotten paid a small amount of money for the comics he wrote, he wasn't nearly as wealthy or successful as Bob. Bill had let Bob take credit for creating Batman, for a long time. One time, when Bill was at a difficult part of his life, he tried to explain how he created Batman. Sadly, Bob claimed that Bill didn't created Batman. Bob made a contract, that would give him sole credit for Batman. Sharing credit, for creating Batman, would of helped Bill's financial problems, but Bob wouldn't share the credit.
Bill was having health problems, which led to him passing away, at an early age. He wasn't given a proper funeral and by then, most people still didn't know who he was. Bob finally started feeling sadness and regret, over what happened and started wishing that he had shared the credit, for Batman's creation.
Decades later, writer Marc Tyler Nobleman and Bill Finger's granddaughter, Athena Finger put a lot of work and effort, into giving Bill the credit he deserved. Their determination paid off and thanks to them, Bill is credited as the co-creator of Batman. Sadly, the credit is "Batman created by Bob Kane, with Bill Finger." The credit makes Bill sound more like an assistant, than a co-creator, but at least, fans now know the truth.
In recent decades, a lot of Bill's work has sadly been declared as "campy" and "goofy." Modern writers and fans seem to want Batman to be a dark, anti-social vigilante, who's very violent and rude. Also, the colorful, hilarious Joker has been turned into a disturbing murderer. However, that's not the Batman that I love. It's Bill Finger, who made Batman a true hero and it's Bill's stories and Adam West's acting, that make me truly appreciate and love Batman.
Although Bill never got the credit he deserved, his legacy lives on. Batman has been and will continue to be one of the most popular fictional heroes of all time. This is thanks to Bill Finger, Gotham's greatest citizen and one the greatest comic-book writers of all time.