Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Pop picks: "Batman & Bill"

Batfans and, I think, maybe even non-comics fans will be intrigued by this new documentary, streaming on Hulu. It's a tale of injustice and eventual retribution, mixed with mystery.

We learn the story via Marc Tyler Nobleman, an author of children's book and a comics fan, who started researching the life of Bill Finger, the uncredited co-creator of Batman.

Most of us interested in comic book history know about Bill Finger, yet the rest of the world certainly doesn't. And even those of us who know the gist of Finger's story, don't know the full details. In fact, nobody did, until Nobleman revealed them in his book, "Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman," and now in this film.

Nobleman compellingly leads us through all of his discoveries and we get background and perspective from a number of comic greats along the way: including famed writer/editor Roy Thomas and the late Batman artists Jerry Robinson and Carmine Infantino. Batman nut and movie producer Michael Uslan also chimes in. And there are interviews with other folks, too, but revealing their identities would spoil the slow reveal of this film. Nobleman truly did crack a mystery or two.

Without revealing too much, we learn much about Finger's life and his ill treatment by Bob Kane, DC Comics and history. While it could've been condensed a bit - it gets a little repetitive at point, this is an excellent film and an important document of pop culture history.

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