Batman has been appearing in feature-length movies since 1966, and in a live-action format (via black-and-white serials) since 1943. But the Caped Crusader’s comic book appearances date back even further, to the 1930s – 1939 to be exact, when Batman made his debut in the pages of Detective Comics issue #27.
The Batman of Detective Comics #27 was a little different to the Batman of today (he carried a gun for starters) but in essence, he was the same guy – a rich playboy who took to the night to stop criminals. Over the years his backstory has been tweaked and developed, but for the most part Batman has remained the same character at his core.
Who created Batman?
Batman was the creation of two people – writer Bill Finger and artist Bob Kane. The character was conceived as a new super hero for National Comics (later renamed to DC Comics).
In 1938, Superman made his comic book debut in the pages of Action Comics issue #1. Superman was a huge success for National and the company wanted to replicate this hit with yet another hero.
In response, Bob Kane began work on a character he called the ‘Bat-Man’. He showed his designs to Bill Finger, who made some suggestions that would alter the character’s look (a cowl, gauntlets etc).
Working together, the pair then developed this initial design into a workable character. Finger wrote the story and Kane provided the art for Batman’s first appearance in 1939 and an icon was born.
Such was the success of Batman, that he was soon accompanied by a sidekick called Robin, who first appeared in Detective Comics #38, and he also got his own comic book – the appropriately titled Batman. Issue #1 of Batman introduced the Joker, as well as ‘the Cat’ (later known as Catwoman) and more of the Batman mythology started to take shape.
The Batman legacy
While not every version of Batman has always been credited to both Finger and Kane – for years, Finger’s name was omitted – DC Comics and DC Entertainment now ensure both Finger and Kane’s names appear on Batman’s credits.
Outside of comics, Finger and Kane’s co-creation has been the star of television shows, computer games, a succession of clothing lines, a breakfast cereal, countless toy lines, books, university courses and of course, movies – both live-action and animated.
Bill Finger lived until the age of 59, passing away in January 1974, while Bob Kane lived until the age of 83, passing away in October 1998. Both co-creators lived long enough to see how popular their creation had become.
- Who created Batman? Bob Kane and Bill Finger
- When did Batman first appear? 1939
- What was Batman’s first appearance? In Detective Comics #27
- Who published Batman’s first appearance? National Comics
I do hope this information has been useful to you. For information about Batman’s appearances on film, please take a look around this blog or check out one of the recommended posts below.
- Six essential tips for watching Batman movies
- Eight best comics for Batman movie fans
- Why were Batman’s parents killed?