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

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  350 Ratings  ·  95 Reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published July 1st 2012 by Charlesbridge (first published January 1st 2012)
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Sam Quixote
Sep 07, 2013 Sam Quixote rated it it was amazing
“Batman - Created by Bob Kane” is a tag any Batman reader will be familiar with as it appears in the credits box of every Batman comic ever published. But Bob Kane didn’t create Batman - Bill Finger did. Who? And that’s what’s so criminal about it. How unfamiliar so many Batman readers are with the name Bill Finger.

This is Marc Tyler Nobleman’s second book on comics creators who were unfairly treated and bilked by DC Comics after they created their signature characters, the first being Boys of
Sep 04, 2012 Corey rated it really liked it
Recommended to Corey by: Abby Johnson
I am a comic book nerd, but I'd somehow never heard of Bill Finger. I guess that's why this book came about, because most people hadn't heard of Bill Finger. A nice easy to read biography told in comic book style, about the man who helped create Batman. Seeing his humility portrayed in the book, but calling into question if it was because he was truly humble or just wanted to keep working, made me remember all the other stories I'd heard about authors and artist kept in the dark. I'm glad this s ...more
Kevin Wright
Aug 21, 2012 Kevin Wright rated it really liked it
This slim volume is a painstakingly researched look at a shadowy figure who lies at the heart not only of the Batman mythos, but of all comicdom. With few photos, manuscripts or documents to work with, Nobleman pieces together the story of a talented young writer who inspired generations and transformed pop culture while working in complete anonymity. Without receiving due credit or compensation until after his death, Finger created many of the elements that have made the Batman characters so co ...more
May 10, 2015 Aaron rated it it was amazing
Nobleman returns with another picture book biography to take a look at one of the least known figures of comic book history. Milton Finger could easily be described as the father of Batman, yet most people think of Bob Kane when that term is brought to mind. Kane had a real talent for bringing together skilled storytellers and artists, but he also like to claim credit for their work. Finger, who also was one of the co-creators of the original Green Lantern, is the one who took a splinter of an i ...more
Jul 17, 2012 Shazzer rated it really liked it
As posted on Outside of a Dog:

Every comic book fan should know the name Bill Finger. That many don’t is a sad state of affairs, but one author Marc Tyler Nobleman is trying to improve. With Bill the Boy Wonder, Nobleman reveals the true origins of Batman, and exposes Bill Finger’s hand in creating one of the most famous fictional characters of all time. Along with Ty Templeton’s expert comic illustrations, Nobleman goes a long way towards righting a long standing wrong and giving Finger credit w
Through painstaking research, this partial picture book biography explores the story of one of the creators of Batman who received little recognition for his work. While Bill Finger and Bob Kane collaborated on the storylines and image for the hero, the fame and money went to Bob. Bill's name never even appeared on the comic book although he did receive some pay. Not only is the story intriguing, but the description of how the author uncovered details about the story, even locating Finger's gran ...more
Abby Johnson
Aug 24, 2012 Abby Johnson rated it it was amazing
Just my favorite kind of picture book biography (one that features an unsung figure) and one done extremely well. Bill Finger was an almost completely uncredited writer and co-creator of the Batman comic books. This picture-book biography, illustrated with comic-like pictures, was the result of years of detailed sleuthing on the part of the author. The text and images work extremely well together and a substantive author's note explains how he ferreted out the details of Bill Finger's brief life ...more
Nov 07, 2012 Rosa rated it it was amazing
So Bill Finger is the co creator of Batman. This picture book talks about his contributions to Batman and other people's attempts to get him recognized as co creator since he himself was not very focused on it. I found the whole thing very interesting and hope that someone does an adult book on him soon. The authors notes about tracking down both and heir and photos of Bill were also very interesting.
Jun 25, 2012 Liz rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2012-13
Really enjoyed this biography of Bill Finger, a co-creator of Batman, who never received recognition for his contributions. Love the comic style art. Love the endpages. Appreciated the lengthy author's note and back matter which further explained the story and the research done to complete this book. Very interesting, even to a pretty reluctant comic reader! Maybe even 4.5 stars!
A well-researched book about Bill Finger, the overlooked co-creator of Batman. Detailed in the author's note, additional information about Marc Nobleman's search to find Bill Finger's heir is equally fascinating.
Sharon Lawler
Oct 16, 2012 Sharon Lawler rated it really liked it
Batman became a symbol of America, but of the two collaborators, only one gets any credit. Thorough research finally gives credit to the other one, Bill Finger.
Michael Smith
Jun 18, 2017 Michael Smith rated it it was amazing
An amazing account of the true Father of Batman as we know it today. It could've been way different if Bat-man were created by Bob Kane - so glad that is untrue.
a children's book, but a book all Batman fans should read. Thank you, Bill Finger.
Feb 24, 2017 Diana rated it it was amazing
I had no idea that Batman was created by Bill Finger - until stumbling onto this book on the shelf, I had no idea who Bill Finger was! This is a fun picture book biography on the popular subject of comic books and specifically Batman while focusing on a lesser-known aspect of this popular subject. I liked that the art tied into the theme of graphic novels; Bill is assigned 3 secret identities through the text and this works almost like very short chapter breaks. It also has some good back matter ...more
Feb 15, 2017 Rjyan rated it it was ok
Great job, Nobleman: It's rad that you did all the research and cared enough to find out about Bill. It's good that this book exists.

Unfortunately, there's not much in this book beyond what one can now find in the first few google results for "Bill Finger." There's no anecdotes longer than a sentence or two; no analysis of (nor even, in truth, any substantive examples of) his writing style; no attempts to interpret anything he made, or even any sense of curiosity about the meaning or source of
Dec 17, 2013 Christina rated it it was amazing
An excellent picture book biography of the unsung hero behind the Batman comic books. Most people have never heard of Bill Finger, and how he co-created the character of Batman with Bob Kane but never got full writing credit during his lifetime. This book tells the long untold story of how the two men worked together, and in contrast to Mr. Kane, Mr. Finger is depicted as an unselfish man, never seeking the limelight, worthy qualities for emulation. Only when fans and friends began speaking up o ...more
Jun 08, 2012 Brent rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all readers of all ages
Recommended to Brent by: Author Bill Nobleman, Batman author Bill Finger, and Atlanta-Fulton Public Library
Here, at last, is a book-length appreciation of a creator - behind the scenes - whose creator credit slipped away, taken by artist, peer, and classmate Bob Kane. Readers like me have enjoyed Batman in incarnations of differing tone (and, of late, age-appropriateness). Finger - uncredited, until a few years before his unhappy early death - deserves better.
An earlier picture book by Nobleman, Boys of Steel , concerned Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster, the creators of Superman, whose story is similar,
Everyone associates the creation of Batman to a man named Bob Kane. He is the person whose name is on every facet of the Batman enterprise, from the original comics to the highly lucrative movie franchise. This book, however, is the story of Bill Finger, the uncelebrated man behind the creation of the Batman comics and who was never given credit or proper compensation for his work. Even though the idea of Batman originated with Bob Kane, the vision of who Batman became, as well as the subsequent ...more
Teri-mae Delay
Nov 29, 2014 Teri-mae Delay rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rdg-goodreads
"Every Batman story is marked with the words "Batman created by Bob Kane." For almost thirty years, fans did not suspect otherwise. But that is not the whole truth. Bob Kane himself said so... A Finger had a hand in it too." Bill Finger was a man that worked odd jobs most of his life, but never strayed from literature. Having conveniently met Bob Kane at a party, Bill was able to take part in history. Creating Batman. When Bob was asked to create a new superhero after Superman became a huge hit ...more
Sep 28, 2013 Bruce rated it really liked it
In 1939 shoe salesman Bill Finger and his new friend cartoonist Bob Kane brainstormed together to work on a project that Bob’s editor had given him: create another superhero like the sensational Superman that had become such a sudden success. The result of their collaboration was The Bat-Man. Detective Comics bought their idea and hired Bob to do comics, and Bob hired Bill to write the scripts. When Batman became a success, Bob hired other artists to draw the stories while Bill continued to writ ...more
Pat (Get Kids to Read) Tierney
Jan 05, 2014 Pat (Get Kids to Read) Tierney rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
Bill the Boy Wonder
Marc Tyler Nobleman
This review is also posted on Get Kids to Read book review blog.

Bill the Boy Wonder is a biography about Bill Finger, the secret co-creator of Batman. Bob Kane is always given sole credit for creating Batman. Every Batman movie/comic/novel has a credit for Bob Kane, but there was another important figure in the development of The Dark Knight,Bill Finger.
Marc Tyler Nobleman is the author of Boys of Steel,the sto
Keith Edwards
Jul 26, 2012 Keith Edwards rated it did not like it
The initial description makes it sound like it's a biography in graphic novel form, and that's true, only if you stretch the meaning a bit. I was expecting something a bit more in depth and instead, found a children's book, with barely any more information about its subject than could be gleaned form the wikipedia entry.

I've seen some of Ty Templeton's artwork before. He's not one of the more famous comic book artists out there but he does solid work. The illustrations on display here though ar
Dave Anderson
Sep 01, 2015 Dave Anderson rated it it was amazing
This is the biography that Bill Finger would have enjoyed. Unfortunately, it is not the biography he deserves. Please don't misunderstand. This is a great, well-written and excellently illustrated biography. Expertly researched by Marc Tyler Nobleman. Ty "The Guy" Templeton shines as always. Compliments to the authors on an awesome job!

It's just a shame that Batman's greatest enemy was the Moriarty-like Bob Kane. What Kane did exceeds any scheme that The Joker could hatch. Which, incidentally, c
Rick Phillips
Aug 25, 2014 Rick Phillips rated it really liked it
Fans of Batman and comic books in general know Bob Kane as the sole creator of Batman. After reading Bill the Boy Wonder you will believe that Bill Finger should be the co-creator.
The complicated story is told in remarkable simplicity by Mr. Nobleman and wonderful illustrations by Mr. Templeton. Yes I know it looks like a big kids book but, some of the subject matter touched on here and in the follow up where Mr. Nobleman tells of how he researched the book, should be read by adults. It's a fast
Kristin R
Dec 11, 2012 Kristin R rated it really liked it
Shelves: juv, non-fiction
Are you a fan of Batman? If so, you will find this graphic novel biography fascinating. It tells the little known story of the co-creator of Batman. You may recognize the name Bob Kane as the creator of this famous character. However, Bill Finger was instrumental in developing the image of the character you are familiar with today, as well as the storylines and major villains in the classic comic book. Learn why he was never got the credit he deserved for all of his ideas. This is a quick and en ...more
Apr 01, 2015 Wade rated it it was ok
Shelves: cartoon, early, reviewer
A bit of a mish-mash... the subject of the book is really copyright law, creator credit, and attribution, but since this is in the world of comic books, this is presented as a juvenile book. The tone is both didactic and silly, with forced puns and a narration that casts this dispute as a classic comic book story with heroes and villains. This is really a magazine article re-cast as a children's book; the topic is of little to no interest to children, however, and overall feels more like a vanit ...more
Apr 09, 2015 Colette rated it really liked it
Bill and Bob worked together to make a new kind of superhero, a vigilante of the night who could strike terror into the hearts of criminals. Thus Batman was born. But Bill's name never appeared on any of the Batman comics, ever. This is the book that researches the unsung man behind the worldwide legend. This is the true story of how Batman began.

I know a few boys who are going to love this biography about the creator of Batman! Especially if I book talk it to the upper grade boys! Get one readi
Funny (to me) to read this upon my recent admission that Batman is my favorite superhero. I've never thought about the history behind the creation of the superhero, but I was interested to learn this one. Very unfair that Bill was not credited for so much of the work, but what a humble guy to not insist on it. The illustrations give it a comic book feel, but I wasn't a huge fan of them because I wasn't always sure if I was looking at Bill or someone else. With all the superhero fans, I think thi ...more
Karen Arendt
Jan 06, 2013 Karen Arendt rated it it was amazing
Fans of Batman and anyone who fights injustice will enjoy this biography about Bill Finger, the co-creator of Batman. Finger co-created Batman but received no credit for it. This story details how Bill created Batman, some of the characters in the comics, and other details about the Batman comics. The book also shows how passionate Bill was about writing yet was easygoing by nature. A detailed summary of the author's research appears at the end of the book which gives more information about Bill ...more
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Marc Tyler Nobleman is the author of "Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman" (which inspired the Hulu documentary "Batman & Bill" and a TED talk), "Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman," "The Chupacabra Ate the Candelabra," and "Brave Like My Brother." Upcoming titles include "Thirty Minutes Over Oregon" and "Fairy Spell."

He has been invited to speak at schools, conferences,
More about Marc Tyler Nobleman...

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