While he was denied credit for his work helping to create one of the most iconic characters in comic book history, Batman co-creator Bill Finger got a measure of the honor he has long deserved in New York City yesterday.
Batman fans as well as friends and family of the late comic book creator gathered at East 192nd Street and the Grand Concourse in the Bronx on Friday for the ceremony renaming the street corner "Bill Finger Way." Batman: The Animated Series voice actor Kevin Conroy helped facilitate the re-naming, and took to Facebook to celebrate as well as thank Finger biographer Marc Tyler Nobleman for helping make the honor possible.
"With Mark Tyler Nobleman this morning in The Bronx for unveiling of 'Bill Finger Way.' Congrats Mark for bringing this long over-due honor to Batman co-creator!" Conroy wrote.
For those unfamiliar with Finger and his association with Batman, here is a quick primer. While Bob Kane was long given sole creation credit for the Dark Knight, Kane didn't create the character alone. Kane and Finger worked together to fully flesh-out Kane's idea for "the Bat-Man." According to Finger, Kane had come up with a general outline of a character, but his Bat-Man more resembled Superman with wings. Finger helped flesh out the concept, but his involvement went much further. Finger wrote many of the early Batman stories, including the debut, with Kane providing art.
However, Kane signed a deal with National Comics—the company that later became DC Comics—in 1939 that signed away ownership of Batman giving Kane the sole byline. It was a move that effectively erased Finger from the character's origin, and while he did receive some limited credit over the years regarding his efforts in creating many of Batman's iconic villains, it wasn't until 2015 that the Finger family was able to reach an agreement with DC Entertainment. That agreement gave Finger his first formal credit for his work on 2015's Batman and Robin Eternal #3 and Batman: Arkham Knight Genesis #3 comic books, as well as 2016's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and the second season of Fox's Gotham—"Batman created by Bob Kane with Bill Finger."
And while having a street named for him is a great honor, there's even more significance to the location of said street. East 192nd Street and the Grand Concourse is right by Poe Park, the same park where Finger and Kane first sat down to create the Caped Crusader.