Hello all you nerd officiates!
MasonicVader here with another review, this time about a phenomenal documentary regarding a real-life David vs Goliath story. A documentary that rewrites an origin story of one our most beloved superheroes: Batman. Not the story that we all know about Bruce Wayne/Batman, but of who created that origin story. I give you Hulu’s 2017 documentary Batman and Bill. For 75 years when we watched, read, or listened to anything about Batman, you would always see Batman by Bob Kane. Bob Kane was an artist for Detective Comics, which was the predecessor to DC comics. In 1939, Bob presented Batman, and took sole creative credit. For the next seven decades, with that creative credit Bob became a cultural icon.
Batman and Bill
Until in 2008 an author by the name of Marc Tyler Nobleman published a book called Boys of Steel, a book about the creators of Superman. When writing the book, he ventured into the origins of Batman. At the time everyone knew about Bob Kane. But as he was looking deeper, another name continued to pop up, the name of Bill Finger. Bill Finger to the regular comic enthusiast was a ghost writer for 25 years. He helped Bob Kane with bringing Batman to life. But, as Marc started looking into it, he realized that there was more to Batman, Bob Kane and Bill Finger, than meets the eye (Transformers plug!).
The Dark (Hidden) Knight
The documentary goes into the research and findings of Marc Tyler Nobleman and his obsession to right a serious wrong. This obsession lead to writing Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman, which is the basis of this documentary we speak of. It is loaded with historical interviews with Bob Kane and about his constant theft of Batman. How Bob was able to gain fame and fortune, while Bill lived – as his words – “a ghost.” But it is more than giving credit, the documentary shows how Marc was able to give validity to a family that felt like nothing could go their way. It also brought peace to that family, that was torn apart. There are rare recorded interviews of Bob Kane and Bill Finger, plus interviews with some of today’s most influential people in all things geek/nerd.
A True Icon of Fandom
I have left this review as short and non-spoiler as possible. But as most of you have already figured out, especially if you watched Batman vs Superman, you know what Marc’s research did. Like I mentioned at the beginning, this is a true David vs Goliath story, that my words alone would not do justice. I will tell you, while watching it, I felt like this story was something made for a comic book. Even to the point that when everything seems lost, hope seems to find a way to save the day. When you are done watching this, you will truly appreciate the world of comic books even more. As is it shows us that movies like Star Wars, Iron Man, Superman, or even Batman did not make geek/nerd cool. It was the writers and artists of the comic industry, past and present, that make it cool. It is fans like us, that not only keep it alive, but cool as well. And it all started with the Mt Rushmore of comic book creators; Joe Schuster, Jerry Siegel, Bob Kane, and Bill Finger. Enjoy the documentary MasonicVader Out!