February 4, 2013
Bill the Boy Wonder by Marc Tyler Nobleman, illustrated by Ty Templeton
Bill: The Boy Wonder, the Secret Co-Creator of Batman
by Marc Tyler Nobleman
illustrated by Ty Templeton
Ask people who created Batman and comic book fans seldom hesitate. “Bob Kane,” they say.
But that isn’t the whole story. Another writer played a major role from conception to drafting the individual stories. His name is Bill Finger.
Bill and Bob met at a party. Bob was a cartoonist and Bill loved literature. They bounced ideas off each other and collaborated on several projects. When an editor asked Bill to create a superhero to rival Superman, he came up with Batman. Or a version of Batman.
Bob took his idea to Bill who immediately went to work. Bob’s idea was too much like Superman and by the time Bill was done, all that remained of Bob’s idea was the name. Bob dealt with the editor and even hired a string of cartoonists to help with the art, but they all agreed that only Bob’s name would go on the finished product.
Secret identities were nothing new to Bill Finger. In reality, his name was Milton but it was hard to find work as a Jew in 1933. His family needed his income so he changed his name and went to work. He was used to hiding who he was. Maybe that’s why he agreed to work on the Batman comic as a silent partner. And work he did.
My husband loves comic books and when I held up this picture book, he took it and sat down for an immediate read. Let’s say that he’ll glance through just about any book I hand him but only a few get the cover to cover treatment that Nobleman’s book received.
This piece wouldn’t have the impact it does without Ty Templeton’s art. Multiple panels per page and black line that is then colored in gives the piece a comic book feel that perfectly compliments the subject matter.
Whether you are a new comic lover or someone who has been reading them for years, this book will pull you in as you root for The Boy Wonder, Bill Finger.