Since Bill Finger and Bob Kane first introduced the character to readers over 80 years ago, Batman continues to stand out as one of the best known fictional characters in the world. There isn’t a form of entertainment the Dark Knight hasn’t spread to, from comics to music to the big screen, his presence is felt everywhere. And as the Caped Crusader has spread his cape across the globe, his story has influenced countless others.
But Batman was created in a vacuum. The men who built him were influenced by the stories they loved, the characters they grew up with, and the changing world around them.
Amongst the various things that inspired Batman, the Phantom is commonly mentioned:
Coming up with the backstory to Batman, co-creator Bill Finger looked to some of the popular comic strips at the time, including The Phantom, for ideas. The origin of the Phantom starts four hundred years before the story begins, with a young man seeing his father killed when their merchant ship is attacked by pirates. Raised by the natives of Bangalla, the young man swears to devote his life to “the destruction of all forms of piracy, greed, and cruelty. My sons and my sons’ sons shall follow me!” He does this by donning a purple costume and running around the African jungle.
Written by Derek Faraci.
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