Batman was first created in 1939 and appeared in a comic book series called detective comic which would later be a series that focus fully on batman instead of story based around different detectives each issues. His two creators, Artist Bob Kane and Writer Bill Finger drew their inspiration from popular culture and even historic names and inventions.
For example the main idea of the batman character was based of popular detective novels and shows that were famous in the 1930s such as “The Phantom” which was a another popular comic book character at the time and novels and movies that the two creators enjoyed at time such as “The Bat Whisper” (1930), which was a movie about a detective who had a secret alter ego called The Bat. Another movie that inspired in the creation of batman was the movie “The Mask of Zorro” (1920) not only was this film used as inspiration for batman but it also feature in the comic book itself as the movie the young Bruce Wayne’s and family were seeing the night they were murder.
Another form of media that has inspired the batman creation is Pulp magazine. These cheap magazines were very popular in the first half of the twentieth century and they feature a lot of character that were detective but also rich playboy who used their money to help them fight crime. An example of a popular pulp magazine detective was “The Shadow” who’s pulp magazine version was a gun toting no nonsense crime fighter that Bill Finger liked, where as artist Bob Kane enjoyed the radio version of “The Shadow” who had the power to cloud men’s minds so they could not see him.
But these were not the only pulp character that inspired batman creation there was three more famous pulp detective that inspired Bob Kane and Bill Finger and there were “The Phantom Detective” and “The Black Bat” and “The Bat”. “The Phantom Detective” was a pulp magazine about a rich socialite who was also a master of disguises that had his own secret crime lab and was summon by lighting a search light in a tower. Where as “The Black Bat” was a story about a district attorney name Tony Quinn who started to fight crime in a bat costume after criminals threw acid in his face because of the similarity between “The Black Bat” and “The Batman”, Bob Kane and Bill Finger nearly faced a lawsuit with the creators of “The Black Bat” because their character were such much alike.
The final Pulp Magazine Bob Kane and Bill Finger drew inspiration from was “The Bat” which is a magazine about a reporter who is framed for murder named Dawson Clade who wears a black hood with a bat emblem to fight crime how was inspired to use the bat emblem when a bat startled him which is similar to how Bruce Wayne decided to become Batman. In my introduction I wrote how famous people and invention were used to inspire characters and the costume design of batman. Two famous people where used in the creation of Bruce Wayne name and would be added to the Wayne family tree in the comic book. These people were the Scottish patriot Robert the Bruce and revolutionary U.S brigadier general Mad Anthony Wayne. Also Leonardo Di Vinci design for one of his flying machine would be used in the creation of batman cape which allows him to glide in the air.