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We know that the Batman comic series started in 1939, and presumably ended somewhere in the 1950s or 1960s, but which exact chapter/issue of the comic series was the last one where the original Batman creators (Bill Finger and/or Bob Kane) were authoring the series? (In contrast to now where the comics are simply based on the characters of the Batman creators, full of multiple non-canon universes, crossovers and whatnot.)

In essence, I think a true Batman purist would only accept the comics from 1939 to when the writers stopped contributing to the franchise any longer as true canon, so when would the canon series have ended? Apparently, Bill Finger used to be the writer, so when did he stop writing the series? And when did Bob Kane stop being the primary artist?

  • You may ask as many questions as you like, but they need to be separate posts. – phantom42 Nov 15 '15 at 13:43
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    Comics don't "end" when the writer of the first story stops writing. So is your question really, "what was the last Batman story written by Bill Finger?" If so, I'd dispense with the tangent about pure batman purists and just stick to the facts. Otherwise this question is horribly off topic. – Mr Lister Nov 15 '15 at 14:17
  • The question is on-topic. The main question is "what is the last canonical Batman appearance in comic books?" The rest is ado so Batman fans out there don't misinterpret this negatively, since, for the record, most of my favorite Batman comics were the latest ones, and not the original or earliest, but I have a concrete definition of what is canon, so I wouldn't ever regard the newer tie-ins and rehashes as canon. – One_Island Nov 15 '15 at 15:32
  • most Batman fans consider the Batman in the comics right now as canonical Batman, so you're still going to have to be more specific about what you mean. – KutuluMike Nov 15 '15 at 16:12
  • I know that, but I did specify in the OP what canon meant in my opinion. Although, I used a relative canon and not the "official" one. – One_Island Nov 15 '15 at 16:47
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The first appearance of Batman as a character was in Detective Comics #27, though he was called "The Bat-Man" at the time, in a story written by Bill Finger and drawn by Bob Kane. Note that as early as the third Batman story, someone else was doing the writing, though Finger would continue to write Batman for Detective Comics on and off for a while. Some or all of the artistry was done by Bob Kane for most of this period (though again, duties were shared with other artists).

By the early 1940s (1942-1943) Kane and especially Finger did fewer and fewer Detective Comics Batman stories. Their last Detective Comics issue together was Detective Comics #190 (December, 1952), but by then they were collaborating once every couple of years at best. The two would continue to contribute for a while, and Finger in particular came back in the early 50s to become a fairly regular writer (well after most people would claim that his "original" Batman was no longer being featured).

Around the time their work on Detective Comics began dropping off, the solo Batman series (June 1940) was starting up, with Kane and Finger also doing the early issues. They would continue to write/draw off and on for this series well into the 1950's.

As best as I can tell, the absolute last time Bill Finger wrote a Batman story was Detective Comics #328 (June, 1964), while Bob Kane's last issue was Detective Comics #228 (February, 1956).


Of course, the character itself, the "Golden Age" Batman, would live on past its co-creators. This version of the character "died" in Adventure Comics #462, in April of 1979. By that time, he had been established (in the Justice League of America series) as being the Earth-Two Batman, and would reappear on very rare occasions as Earth-Two's Bruce Wayne in the crossover events.

There is no clear point in either Detective Comics nor the solo Batman series when Earth-Two Batman obviously becomes the later Earth-One Batman. Most people would point to Superman #76, in June of 1952, as the first appearance that is definitively Earth-One's Batman, but the other series likely continued to include the Golden Age Batman for many issues afterward. The two most popular theories for the "last appearances" of Earth-Two Batman in his solo series are in Batman #80 (December, 1953) or Batman #95 (October, 1955). For Detective Comics, it is usually placed in either Detective Comics #202 (December, 1953) or Detective Comics #224 (October, 1955)

  • Thanks for the information, and I should have known the two hadn't constantly worked on the series and presumably had a staff, but what I would like to know is when the two gentlemen completely had their hands off their work (Batman comic books). – One_Island Nov 15 '15 at 16:59
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As I understand it, Bob Kane did little or no actual drawing for the Batman comics after the mid 1940s. Kane would hire "ghosts" like Jerry Robinson, Lew Schwartz, and Sheldon Moldoff to draw the stories he was contracted to do. Also, DC hired it's own artists to draw Batman stories, such as Dick Sprang, Jack Burnley, Curt Swan (best known for Superman), and Jim Mooney (best known for Supergirl, and later work on Spider-Man for Marvel).There were other artists too, that drew Batman under the "Bob Kane" signature. In recent years, the actual artists have been credited in collected editions, as well as in various articles. .

  • Interesting. Do you remember where you found out about this? – Adamant Aug 18 '16 at 8:42

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