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Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman

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Overview

Every Batman story is marked with the words "Batman created by Bob Kane." But that isn't the whole truth. A struggling writer named Bill Finger was involved from the beginning. Bill helped invent Batman, from concept to costume to character. He dreamed up Batman's haunting origins and his colorful nemeses. Despite his brilliance, Bill worked in obscurity. It was only after his death that fans went to bat for Bill, calling for acknowledgment that he was co-creator of Batman. ...
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Overview

Every Batman story is marked with the words "Batman created by Bob Kane." But that isn't the whole truth. A struggling writer named Bill Finger was involved from the beginning. Bill helped invent Batman, from concept to costume to character. He dreamed up Batman's haunting origins and his colorful nemeses. Despite his brilliance, Bill worked in obscurity. It was only after his death that fans went to bat for Bill, calling for acknowledgment that he was co-creator of Batman.
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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
It turns out that Batman--the orphaned, shadowy, well-heeled defender of an embattled Gotham--had another embarrassment of riches: two fathers. Spend any time with Batman in DC Comics and you will have seen it: "Created by Bob Kane." Only half true. Cartoonist Bob did come up with a prototype, but it was writer Bill Finger who fashioned Batman into the night-tripping, class-and-trash, hero-and-villain intimidator in the pointy-eared cowl whom we have come to love, the superhero without superpowers. This testament to credit due from Nobleman is seriously researched--as the six-page author's note attests--yet light on its feet, and the artwork from Templeton has all the lush, emotive brushwork one expects from Batman. But what makes this sketch of Finger so memorable is its intimacy with the characters, the way in which it coaxes out an engaging vulnerability in Finger and, by association, with Batman. "Bob's greatest talent may have been the ability to recognize other talent. His greatest flaw may have been the inability to honor that talent. Bill's greatest flaw may have been the inability to defend his talent. His greatest talent was the ability to forge legends." Though Finger has been a known commodity to comics cognoscenti for years, this salute in his own format will make the lasting impression he deserves. (Graphic biography. 8 & up)
School Library Journal
Gr 3–5—This eye-catching biography of Bill Finger is quite unique. It's the first picture book written about the co-creator of the comic-book character Batman. And until quite recently, Finger wasn't recognized, as Bob Kane accepted full credit. From the cover depicting a bust of Finger set against the backdrop of Batman, and the end pages that include the shadow, quotes, and teasers to the story, to the engagingly told story, this biography will be a hit. The illustrations are done in colorful, classic comic-book style, with text offset in boxes. The story begins with a young Jewish man, Milton Finger, changing his first name to Bill because of discrimination. It proceeds to his chance meeting with Kane and his uncredited collaboration. After 25 years of writing increasingly creative adventures for Batman, his contribution was discovered, though Kane was still reluctant to share credit. Finger died rather poor and largely unrecognized. After his death, a comic-writing award was named in his honor. The easy-to-read text is short and interesting. An author's note presents more detailed information on Finger and Nobleman's complex and thorough research. This title will appeal to children because of their interest in superheroes and their creators, and will be a draw for teachers as a read-aloud for language arts or social studies as an engaging look at a pop art icon. Source notes, a selected bibliography, and three photos round out the book.—Christina Dorr, Hilliard City School District, OH
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580892896
  • Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/1/2012
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 524,210
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: GN970L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Marc Tyler Nobleman is the author of BOYS OF STEEL: THE CREATORS OF SUPERMAN, which received multiple starred reviews and was named an American Library Association Notable Book. Due to discoveries Marc made in his research, the book also landed on the front page of USA Today. Marc never dressed as Batman for Halloween, but he was Robin twice (and Superman three times). Today he lives with his family in Maryland. He reveals his research secrets and promotional gambles at noblemania.blogspot.com.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 24, 2012

    Loved the story

    I’d heard of Bill Finger, but didn’t know the secrets behind his Batman connection until I read this fascinating book. I loved discovering how generous he was to others despite never getting credit for his vast creativity. The author’s note takes us deeper into the Finger family’s story and shows how the author fought for justice for the family (in the best Batman tradition).

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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