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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

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  523 ratings  ·  125 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 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
Kevin Wright
Aug 21, 2012 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
Jul 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Muhtasim Khan
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is like a real life detective story.I was deeply touched by the tragic story of the real creator of the character Batman,who never got credit for his own comics and character in his lifetime.i read the book and also watched the documentary.
Author Marc Nobleman(i would say detective) makes it his crusade to make it known that Bill Finger, a struggling writer, actually helped invent the iconic superhero, from concept to costume to the very character we all know.
(view spoiler)
Bill Finger (I mean, Milton), is actually the uncredited creator of Batman the comic books. Check out his unique story as an underfoot Jewish boy who grew up to create one of the most iconic superheroes of all time!
May 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pb
Very interesting picture book biography about the man who co-created Batman and wrote Batman comics yet received very little credit.
Mar 10, 2022 rated it it was amazing
This book really captured the key events of Bills life and all of his struggles. I liked the story of Bill and what his life was like overall.
May 10, 2015 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
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
Jul 17, 2012 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 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 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. ...more
Jun 25, 2012 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! ...more
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
After watching the documentary about Bill Finger I knew I wanted to read this book. Written before DC started giving him credit for his contributions to Batman, it nicely summarizes Finger's contributions and where the situation stood at the time of publication. Good book about a little known man. ...more
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. ...more
Oct 16, 2012 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.
Brian Rogers
Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
This was a slender but solid and well researched bit of corrective history that tries to set the record straight on one of the great minds of Comic Books. Well worth the read.
Ben Truong
Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman is part biography and part comic of Bill Finger, an American comic book writer, and written by Marc Tyler Nobleman and illustrated by Ty Templeton.

Milton Finger, known professionally as Bill Finger was an American comic strip and comic book writer best known as the co-creator, with Bob Kane, of the character Batman and the co-architect of the series' development. Although he did not receive any contemporaneous credit for his hand in the develo
Dec 08, 2021 rated it liked it
The untold story of the co-creator of Batman - Bill Finger.

Essentially a picture book biography of Bill Finger, who was until fairly recently unheard of. Yet, Finger was arguably the main creative force behind Batman and virtually all of the character's established backstory and villains. Nobleman delivers a fairly restrained catalogue of events from Bill's early life, to his meeting and work with Bob Kane, his creative process and their creation of Batman, to Bill's demise in relative obscurity
This book looks like a picture book (and, with lots of discussion about what was going on, my 3 year old enjoyed having it read it him...but I think this was helped a great deal by his love of Batman), and inside, it looks a bit like a graphic novel, but it's actually a detailed biography of Bill Finger, the co-creator of Batman.

I did not read this until I'd heard author Marc Tyler Nobleman give the presentation about how he came to write it several times (first at a librarian's conference, and
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Bill the Boy Wonder is the wonderful story of Batman's creation by Bob Kane and Bill Finger back in the 1940s. It is explained, in a child-appropriate way that Kane unfairly took more credit than he deserved for the creation of a iconic character, amd what affect this had on Finger's life. Mostly, this is giving Finger the well-deserved credit where credit is due; Kane helped Finger flesh out the character of the Bat after Finger already proposed the idea, but it's pretty much all Finger who cre ...more
Heather Shembarger
Jan 27, 2022 rated it it was amazing
I was captivated reading this short read about the real life secret co-creator of Batman. It is a sad story in many ways, but there is added information at the end of the book that does provide a bit of justice for Bill Finger (the secret co-creator). This is a real life story of trust, deception, and greed. It reads almost just like a Batman comic could. Any Batman fan will find this story unbelievably sad but also eye-opening as to how Batman actually came about and who really should receive t ...more
Oct 31, 2022 rated it it was amazing
I love knowing the back story behind all the research that took place to write this book. It is fascinating to see how those little details the author found / dug up / stumbled upon became part of both the text & the visual elements of this book. I think I would like to use this book with my students prior to them beginning a research unit, explaining how the author began the research, ended up on a bit of a winding road of information seeking and ultimately put together a book (and become part ...more
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comic-things
Thanks for this great gift, friends! This is a succinct, well illustrated, and very informative story about Batman's co-creator, Bill Finger. Too bad there isn't enough material to make this an actual book, cos that'd be pretty interesting (especially with all the research the author did), but this format gets the job done. The documentary Batman & Bill (2017) takes this, and visualizes the back matter, and is also great. ...more
Sep 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Josef Ploski
Oct 30, 2022 rated it really liked it
A great book about a forgotten creator. If you or your child enjoyed this book I encourage you to watch Bill & Batman on the Hulu streaming service. The book is great, but the film goes in depth in the author's quest to right the wrong done to Bill Finger and tell what happened after the book was published. ...more
Aug 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Equal parts fascinating and rage-inducing - the detailed notes at the back are just as interesting as the story, including the tale of tracking down Finger's true heir and making sure she benefits from the recognition that's only now starting to trickle in. ...more
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Bill Finger. Such a great book! Thank you, Marc T. Nobleman. You have opened my eyes, and I am forever grateful.

I bought this book after seeing the documentary Marc did about Bill, and his journey to help Bill gain the recognition he deserves.
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Award-winning author of books for all ages, including one that changed history and inspired the first documentary based on a nonfiction picture book.

I've had the privilege of being invited to speak at schools and conferences in 30+ states and a dozen countries from Thailand to Tanzania.

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