Batman & Bill


I've been really looking forward to watching this documentary once I heard it was being produced. I had heard the stories of Bill Finger and his contributions to Batman over the years. I did liken it to the whole Siegal and Shuster story for Superman and hoped that a time would come when Finger would get the credit he deserved.

The film opens with writer and documentary producer Marc Tyler Nobleman speaking to a group of children as he begins to tell them the story of Batman. It's a nice touch as it reminds us where our love for Batman begins. It's interesting to note that he points out how children don't realize the selfless nature of heroes as kids, but I'll argue otherwise. Most children are selfless as they are discovering self and because of it, they attach themselves to the selfless nature of the hero.

He proceeds to give us a little background on himself and why he is producing this film. From there, we get the story of how Bob Kane essentially creates the Bat-man, but it's not the hero we know today. With the aid of Bill Finger, the character morphs into our familiar hero, but instead of giving him credit, Kane went on to take sole credit.

From there, Kane was able to make himself wealthy from his co-creation, thanks in large part to the Batman 66 series. There is a moment though where Finger, not ever getting a credit in the comics at that point, got to write for the TV series. His co-writer of the Clock King episode, Charles Sinclair, relates how they got to watch the episode in color at the ABC offices. There's an irony in all this as DC Comics was always trying to get their writers on Batman and the only one who made it was the one who never got the credit in the comics.

The documentary is filled with commentary from comic notables like Carmine Infantino, Kevin Smith, Todd McFarlane, Travis Langley, and Arlen Schumer. Schumer's commentary is most notable as he not only adds to the story, but takes a stand on his feelings towards Kane, something many will feel after watching this documentary.