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DC Comics news: Bill Finger (finally) benefits from Batman's latest anniversary

It's about time for Bill Finger.
Comics Alliance

DC Comics celebrates Batman's 75th anniversary by finally crediting Bill Finger!

How does one celebrate a milestone anniversary for the franchise that has everything? That's the challenge DC Comics faces this year in regards to their 75th anniversary of Batman, a character who has been exploited by his parent company almost as much as Disney has exploited Mickey Mouse. Since his creation in May 1939's "Detective Comics #27", the character has not only branched out to many more solo titles and spin off series, but has been adapted into a wide variety of alternate mediums from film serials to feature films (eight live action, one animated), TV shows, and video games ever since. The first installment of this celebration was the launch of the weekly series, "Batman Eternal", which runs alongside the leagues of other Bat-related comics (Batman, Detective Comics, Batman/Superman, Batwoman, Batgirl, a Batman team-up book, Batman Beyond Universe, etc.). The next was the decision that July 23rd will be "Batman Day", in which DC Comics would supply retailers with free Batman goodies and even a free reprinted comic to celebrate the occasion.

This free edition of "Detective Comics #27" will offer the original issue from 1939 as well as the more recent "New 52" version written by Scott Synder and Sean Murphy from earlier this year. It will also offer a retelling of the origin by Brad Meltzer and Bryan Hitch, as well as additional material by Chip Kidd. The major milestone is that the cover offers seven credits, and for the first time, Bill Finger is credited with the character right below Bob Kane. As various sources have chronicled, Finger was instrumental in crafting the creation of Batman in 1939 alongside Kane, from aiding in the design to influencing the actual characters of Bruce Wayne, Alfred Pennyworth and even Dick Grayson. Unfortunately, one of the stipulations to Kane selling ownership of the character to DC Comics was his name being the only one listed under the title of Batman, which remained until the 1970's. By 1974, Finger died just after his 59th birthday in obscurity, a fate which continues until modern days (even after Kane's death in 1998). Thus, this reprint of "Detective Comics #27" marks the first time that Bill Finger will be credited with the original Batman story in an official publication; a rare bit of good public relations news for the often beleaguered DC Comics.

In addition, DC Comics' entire line will feature variant Batman related covers throughout this summer, even comics where Batman doesn't actually appear. Also available in shops will be a free poster offering many landmark moments and characters throughout Batman's 75 year history. It covers much ground but as some online sources noted, left out many involving female characters (i.e. no mention of Cassandra Cain's six year run as Batgirl, or the current lesbian Batwoman). Regardless, credit should be given to DC Comics for taking this opportunity to correct a long time wrong.

Will NBC's "Constantine" feature other magical heroes?

A second trailer for NBC's upcoming "Constantine" series (adapted from the long running supernatural thriller comic, "Hellblazer") was released. The helmet of Doctor Fate was glimpsed in it, hinting that the show could be used to help introduce other mystical characters to the big screen. TV shows on "The CW" such as "Smallville" and "Arrow" have long been used as vehicles to help introduce second and third tier characters to audiences (to say nothing of cartoons like "Justice League Unlimited" and "Batman: Brave and the Bold"), so such a thing wouldn't be surprising.

It is one of three new DC Comics related TV shows hitting the small screen this year. The rest are on "The CW"; the other two being "iZombie" and "The Flash", a spin off of "Arrow". In addition, "Arrow" will continue for a third season.