BATMAN: First appearance, Detective Comics #27, on March 30, 1939
The massive success of Superman starting with Action Comics #1 in 1937, led National Publications (later to become DC Comics) to try to create more superheroes. In 1939, staff artist Bob Kane came up with some sketches for a bat-based character. He showed them to Finger, who tried to create a backstory for the character. Finger liked the idea of making the bat-man a wealthy rogue playboy modeled like Scots nobleman Robert Bruce. The character would also be a fearless (at times, brutal) warrior for a cause, like General “Mad” Anthony Wayne of the U.S. Indian Wars in the Ohio Valley. Thus, Bruce Wayne, also known as Batman, was born. Finger and Kane refined the sketches, made the costume more menacing, and Finger began work on the character’s backstory, which would serve as the first issue. Like all superheroes, Batman would be borne of a tragedy. But unlike Superman, who used his tragedy (the demolition of his planet and his salvation on earth) to focus his superpowers, Bruce Wayne was a man. An extremely wealthy man, but a man nonetheless. Ad so Batman’s heroics were not aided by flight or heat vision or invisibility or any manner of supernatural behaviors. Batman was made a superhero only by his desire to fight crime. By his desire to salve the wounds of losing his parents to a petty thief. By his need to rid the world of that ever happening again.