Knowledge Waits is a feature where I just share some bit of comic book history that interests me.
In a recent article, I wrote about how Captain America’s scale mail on his costume had slowly been depicted differently over the years to the point where it was effectively non-existent during most of the 1990s. Reader John W. wrote to me about how I made reference in that article about how the evolution of Captain America’s scale mail was similar to the evolution of the costumes of both Superman and Batman, specifically in regards to Superman’s S and Batman’s fins. John wanted to know if I had written articles ABOUT those evolutions and, if I had not, then could I? And well, sure, why not?
So first I did the Superman S one. Now, today, we’ll do the evolution of Batman’s fins (I decided to call them spikes in the headline – I really don’t know what we should call them).
Batman’s gloves debuted in Detective Comics #27 by Bob Kane and Bill Finger. They were purple, but that seems like a bit of a fluke. I really think that Kane initially meant for him to not be wearing gloves at all. But maybe he meant for him to be wearing gloves. Either way, there was no way that Kane meant for Batman to have bright purple gloves. Back then, though, you had EXTREMELY little say over how your character would be colored. Heck, it would be years before creators really had all that much power over that sort of thing.
The main reason that I think Batman wasn’t intended to be wearing gloves is because he went gloveless in the next issue…
It sure seems like someone said, “No! Don’t draw the gloves as purple! He’s not even wearing gloves!,” right?
Now that Batman was a clear success, Bob Kane was assigned Gardner Fox by National Comics for a while before Bill Finger got to return.
Fox added a few aspects to Batman’s wardrobe, including a utility belt, the batarang and, of course, blue gloves for the first time…
In Detective Comics #31, Batman’s gloves became gauntlets for the first time. You know, extending just beyond gloves that cover up only his hands…
It sure looks like Batman added claws to the fingers of his glove in Detective Comics #33, right? That’s kind of nuts…
Bill Finger soon returned to the character that he had co-created and he brought the fins with him!
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