Gee Wilikers Batman! Your creator’s gotten a New York City street named after him! This past Friday, amNY reported Bill Finger, the long uncredited co-creator of the iconic DC superhero character, has been given the corner of East 192nd Street and the Grand Concourse in the Bronx in an official naming ceremony. In New York, where street naming honors some of the city’s most influential cultural and scientific figures, like Tito Puente and Nikola Tesla, Bill Finger has finally gotten his recognition.
While most Batman fans know Bob Kane as the creator of the character, it was Finger who designed almost everything we know about the character today: his signature look, traits, and identity as Bruce Wayne. “Bill Finger Way” comes as a long over due recognition for the work of a man who created Gotham’s most well known resident.
But why get a street named in New York? Gotham may be New York’s historical moniker, but the corner of 192nd and Grand Concourse was not chosen arbitrarily and has a far deeper personal connection to the iconic masked vigilante. The intersection in the Bronx puts it near Poe Park, the place where Bill Finger and Bob Kane would meet together to discuss Batman.
1939 issue of the Batman. Image via Comics Beat
In their talks, Finger would also develop Gotham City, come up with Robin, Catwoman, the Riddler, and even the Joker among many others. Suffice it to say, Finger played no small part in the making of this legendary comic book character in 1939. The 2017 Hulu documentary Batman and Bill delves deeper into the heartbreaking story where a stipulation in Bob Kane’s contract listed Bob Kane as the sole creator of the Batman, preventing Finger from being properly credited (and as we learned never credited at all).
At Untapped Cities, we are big fans of the FOX TV show Gotham and are happy to hear that while all too late, Bill Finger’s contribution to this city and, really the world. DC Comics officially recognized Finger’s role in the creation of the character in 2015 and Bob Kane did the same in his autobiography 25 years ago.
At the street naming ceremony, in attendance were Finger’s granddaughter Athena Finger, Finger’s biographer Marc Nobleman, and Councilman Ritchie Torres among many other notable guests and fans, including Kevin Conroy, the longtime voice of Batman for numerous animated movies and TV shows.
“Bill Finger not only lived in the Bronx, but conceived of Batman while he was in Poe Park,” said Councilman Ritchie Torres in a speech at the ceremony. “We’re not only here to celebrate Bill Finger, but also what he symbolizes: The creative grandeur of the Bronx.”
With Mark Tyler Nobleman at the unveiling of ‘Bill Finger Way’ in The Bronx this morning. Congrats to Mark for bringing this long over-due recognition to Batman co-creator! pic.twitter.com/rEKWxfooVm
— Kevin Conroy (@RealKevinConroy) December 8, 2017