Saturday, May 10, 2014

Bill Finger’s name in “Gotham,” the city he named?

On 5/5/14, Fox announced its series order for Gotham, a TV show about Bruce Wayne’s city before he became Batman, debuting fall 2014.

Without Bill Finger, the show—let alone the city—would have no name.

According to The Steranko History of Comics, Volume 1 (page 45), and as repeated in Batman & Me, Bob Kane’s autobiography (page 44), Bill Finger said

Originally, I was going to call Gotham City ‘Civic City.’ Then I tried Capital City, then Coast City. Then, I flipped through the phone book and spotted the name Gotham Jewelers and said, ‘That’s it,’ Gotham City.

As alluded to here before, I understand that until any changes are legally made to the agreement Bob Kane made with DC Comics, subjective terms (namely “creator” or “co-creator”) are off limits, so for the Gotham credits I propose a simple statement of fact:

Batman’s city was first called ‘Gotham’ in a story written by Bill Finger published in Batman #4, 1940.

Several times since the announcement, I have tweeted about this. Of course, it’ll take more than tweets to get Bill’s name in the show’s credits, but if you do, please keep it similarly simple/non-inflammatory, and please use hashtag #FingerInGotham.

Justice has no expiration date.

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