The documentary explores his contribution to American fiction for a large-scale audience. “Batman and Bill” is well produced, entertaining and informative on Finger’s life and his creation of Batman.
Bob Kane has often been credited for the creation of Batman in 1939.
The documentary works in three parts: the first being about the creation of Batman, the second showing the fight between Marc Tyler Nobleman and Finger to get credit for the character, and third shows the eventual success of Finger’s heir in getting his name attached to his creation.
Nobleman, Roy Thomas and Kevin Smith examine the early history of comics in the documentary and how Finger was involved in almost all the things that fans know and love about Batman. Batman’s costume, his alias Bruce Wayne, the Batmobile, Commissioner James Gordon, the Joker, Catwoman and Scarecrow are among his many contributions.
Finger is the heroic figure in this documentary while like the Joker, Kane is the archnemesis who erased Finger’s name from his creations. Kane weaseled his way into being recognized as the sole creator of Batman in 1939 when he sold the character to what would one day be DC Comics. While he became wealthy, a pseudo celebrity and a person who continuously claimed other people’s work by signing his name on it, Finger is portrayed as an unsung hero.
Finger never got the respect and credit he deserved. Even when he tried to, Kane continuously discredits him. In the end, Finger died very young, poor and was supposedly buried in an unmarked grave.
What happened to Finger isn’t all that uncommon for writers and artists in the comic book industry. Many throughout the years have fought for the rights of their creations and lost. In the case of Kane and Finger, it draws parallels with Stan Lee and Jack Kirby at Marvel.
The documentary also has a well-structured pace with scenes that give it a comic book feel. With its masterful style, tragic story and credible sources, it’s a must-watch for documentary and comic book fans.