From 1969: an ad announcing the 30th anniversary of Batman. Sure enough, it was indeed three decades since Bob Kane was given the task of coming up with a costumed character to rival the popularity of Superman. He went to see Bill Finger — someone who actually had some talent — and history was made. That first Batman tale in Detective Comics #27 is pretty crude, even by the standards of the day, but successfully creates a certain noir-ish mood. If nothing else, Kane probably deserves some credit for having the courage to give DC something entirely different, and not just a straight Superman rip-off.

It remains to everyone’s shame, however, that Bill Finger isn’t officially recognised for his major role.

©2009 DC Comics