Does "Hellboy in Hell" Finale Signal the End of Mike Mignola's Time With the Character?
3. Bill Finger
Every century or so, there is a character invented who just touches something in people, a character that somehow resonates in the hearts and minds of millions of readers and Bill Finger was lucky enough to have created one of those rare characters. I am talking, of course, about Batman Jones…
Seriously, though, if ALL that Bill Finger did in his Batman tenure was co-create Batman, Robin, Joker, Catwoman, Two-Face, Riddler, Penguin, Commissioner Gordon, Alfred, Vicki Vale, Scarecrow, Hugo Strange and, of course, Batman Jones, then that would be enough for him to be one of the greatest writers in Batman history. However, he did far more than that. He was main writer on Batman for over TWENTY years, writing so many great stories that you almost literally cannot keep track of them all.
Finger also wrote the origin of Batman…
One Finger Batman story I like a lot is “Robin Dies at Dawn,” where we see Batman in an unfamiliar location…
As we find out, he was taking part in a sensory deprivation experiment and is now muddled with hallucinations of Robin’s demise. It makes crimefighting impossible. But while Robin is going at it alone, the Gorilla Gang (I love that there is a group called the Gorilla Gang and it’s just a normal part of the story) kidnaps Robin – now he is going to die for REAL!
Wild, inventive, far-out and still heartfelt – all the trademarks of a Bill Finger Batman story (Grant Morrison later built the framework of Batman R.I.P. on this story – Morrison asked the question – what if the guy doing the experiment on Batman wasn’t just a friendly scientist but actually an EVIL scientist?!).
For more information on Batman Jones, check out this old I Love Ya But You’re Strange spotlight on this American Treasure.
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