Batman arrived halfway through the final year of 1930s. Created by artist Bob Kane with writer Bill Finger – “The Bat-Man” as he was originally called – was a response to Superman a year earlier. Superman had been a huge hit for the company that would eventually become known as “DC COMICS,” the two kids mentioned above were commissioned to come up with a similar character; another “super hero,” if you will.
One thing led to another, and eventually Mr. Kane and Mr. Finger came up with a character – influenced by Zorro, Dracula, the Scarlet Pimpernel, Sherlock Holmes and probably A LOT of other stuff – that would go on to become one of the greatest comic book superheroes, if not THE greatest, in the history of, well, comic book superheroes.
Below you’ll find a history and timeline of The Batman in the 1930s. Ironically, the Batman we know and love today is VERY MUCH like “The Bat-Man” that was originally conceived by two young kids in New York City and that existed in the pages of DETECTIVE COMICS for the latter part of 1939.
MAY 1939: “The Bat-Man” – as he was originally called – debuts in “The Case of the Chemical Syndicate” in DETECTIVE COMICS #27. Gotham City Police Commissioner James Gordon also appears in the story.
JULY 1939: Batman’s utility belt is highlighted in DETECTIVE COMICS #29. This issue’s story of “The Bat-Man’ also features Doctor Death; considered to be the first recurring Batman supervillain. Also, Batman sports blue/black gloves for the first time after they were previously depicted to be colored purple and then beige.
“Criminals are a superstitious cowardly lot.
So my disguise must be able to strike terror into their hearts.
I must be a creature of the night, black, terrible… a . a… a bat!
That’s it! It’s an omen. I shall become a BAT!”