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I was just watching "So you haven't read" for Alexandre Dumas' "Count of Monte Cristo" (a bit ironic since not only have I read it, I did it in two different translations, English and Russian :P) and the video stated that Batman was based on/inspired by Count of Monte Cristo.

A bit of surface googling doesn't seem to bring to light any confirmation of that assertion, other than the suggestion that some later Batman writers presumably based Bane (and not Batman) on CoMC - which to me at least makes a lot more sense, given the origin stories of the three characters.

Is there an official confirmation from any creators that The Count of Monte Cristo had influenced Batman as a character (or barring that, anything in Batman comics, Bane included).

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    I'd say they made the connection because both Batman and the Count experienced a tragedy at a young age which caused the characters to pursue revenge via vigilante justice.
    – The Daleks
    Oct 8, 2021 at 12:37
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    Batman doesn't have a personal vendetta against his super-villains. At least not at first. He also doesn't kill people thanks to comic book rules. The Count, on the other hand, tracks down those who wrong him one by one, reveals his true identity and (usually) kills them. The count is 100% in it for revenge. Oct 8, 2021 at 19:09
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    I always thought that Batman/Bruce Wayne was more like the The Scarlet Pimpernel.
    – pladams9
    Oct 8, 2021 at 19:32
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    The Count doesn't have a cape, a mask, a butler, a juvenile protege, a bat-cave, or a Batmobile, and Batman doesn't have incarceration in the Chateau D'If, an abbé who leaves him all his fortune, or Haydée. Pretty thin identification.
    – user207421
    Oct 9, 2021 at 10:15

2 Answers 2

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No. This is Likely a Conflation of Batman’s Three Musketeers Origin With Other Notable Works by Alexandre Dumas

1. Bob Kane’s inspiration: like many old comic book characters, there are legal and copyright questions about who created Batman. First, we absolutely know that Bob Kane created Batman, because DC has record of his original contract, which names him sole creator: http://www.npr.org/2012/08/11/158494206/batmans-biggest-secret-no-its-not-bruce-wayne

Bob Kane has stated on several occasions that his inspiration for Batman:

Inspired in equal measure by Leonardo da Vinci’s 1485 design sketches of an “ornithopter,” a 1930 mystery movie entitled The Bat Whispers, and the 1920 silent film The Mark of Zorro starring Douglas Fairbanks, the commercially savvy Kane managed in short order to assemble the Bat-Man “from an assortment of pop culture debris that together transcended the sum of its parts”

http://www.grant-morrison.com/bibliography/category/supergods.html

The Count of Monte Cristo has never been any published inspiration for Bob Kane, and therefore, if one accepts Kane as sole creator, then Batman is not inspired from the Count of Monte Cristo.

2. Questions About Who Created Batman Enter Bill Finger. Bob Kane himself admitted it was a mistake to not credit writer Finger in the many years he maintained sole creatorship. Kane himself, over the course of his life defended himself against “conjectures,” “misrepresentation,” and “distortions of the truth” and expressed misgivings about his business arrangement with Finger. However, more recently, Kane has lamented that:

“I always felt rather badly that I never gave him a byline,’ said Kane recently. ‘He was the unsung hero’”

Assuming, therefore, that Kane himself admits Finger contributed to the narrative creation of Batman, then Finger’s own inspiration enters the picture.

Bill Finger has in past stated his inspiration for Batman. From Batman: The Complete History, [San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1999, Finger reveals that he:

“further fleshed out the character, whom he saw “as a combination of Alexandre Dumas’s swashbuckler D’Artagnan from The Three Musketeers (1844) and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective Sherlock Holmes” and wrote countless Batman scripts in the years that followed.

Consequently, Finger also has not explicitly connected Batman’s creation to the Count of Monte Cristo. However, Finger identifies another Dumas work, The Three Musketeers.

So we know that the creation of Batman was based on several inspirations. However, one of those inspirations has not explicitly been revealed publicly to be the Count of Monte Cristo.

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    I think the last paragraph would be better to only state what you know: that there is no positive evidence it is based on The Count of Monte Cristo, and there is evidence of it being based on several other things. No need to add the other bits, nor to evaluate "more likely", that's appropriate for your reader to determine on their own. But otherwise a really great and well researched answer!
    – Joe
    Oct 8, 2021 at 15:28
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    The Monte Cristo suggestion also seems like a recency bias, since the movies and other pop-culture takes on Batman in the last few decades have focused on the grittier iterations of the origin story than the Batman character had in the first comics. Oct 8, 2021 at 15:33
  • Good criticism @Joe thank you. Oct 8, 2021 at 15:34
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    Sorry you missed saying "Fingers fingers The Three Musketeers ....".
    – davidbak
    Oct 11, 2021 at 1:41
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This "Real Fact Comic" (which was presumably written by Kane himself, since it has no mention of Bill Finger) has a panel talking about inspirations. The top right panel says this

An avid reader of detective fiction -- young Kane was also inspired by the exploits of true-to-life manhunters...

Real Fact Comics

The themes of Monte Cristo aren't terribly unique. A betrayal, the thirst for revenge... these are the fertile ground of lots of stories. The novel is also centered around revenge, while Kane's Batman seems more focused on justice and stopping crime (common themes in the golden age of comics).

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  • The count of monte cristo was, afaik, very unique at the time. It laid the groundwork for popular stories about a man becoming wildly successful and taking revenge. Saying batman wasn't intentionally based on it is like saying a lot of sitcoms/comedy TV shows nowadays aren't based on Seinfeld. They aren't directly based on it, but it's almost impossible to do anything without doing what parts of what Seinfeld did because it's so influential.
    – Mdev
    May 17 at 5:19

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