Dark Knight legacy shares a connection with Broward College

Elliott Tritto

Central Bureau Chief


  Marcus Garvey once said, “A people without the knowledge of their history, origin, and culture is like a tree without roots.”

Athena Finger, granddaughter of Bill Finger, co-creator of Batman, signifies as a great example of embracing a family’s legacy. In recent years, it’s come out that Bob Kane wasn’t the sole creator of the Dark Knight. Comic book historian Ron Goulart writes “Bob Kane said (and I quote) “Bill Finger was a contributing force on Batman right from the beginning… I made Batman a superhero-vigilante when I first created him. Bill turned him into a scientific detective.”

Unfortunately, Bill Finger didn’t live to see Batman become a global phenomenon since Bob Kane preferred to soak in all the glory. Why is this relevant to Broward College or a family’s history?

Athena Finger used to study and teach at Broward College and has voiced her side of the story about Bill Finger. By appearing at comic conventions, in the Hulu documentary, “Batman and Bill,” and sometimes in the classroom, she’s able to tell how the world’s greatest detective was created. I had a chance to sit down with Athena and discuss her time in Broward College and about her grandfather.

ET: First off, I want to say as a Broward College student and a Batman fan, thank you so much for taking the time and having a chat.

AF: Of course! Anything for a student and a Batman fan.

ET: Tell me about your time at Broward College as a student.

AF: It was a lot of hard work and fun. I started BCC Fall semester in 2004, took winter semester off and went back fall 2005. I originally wanted to become an elementary school teacher until Professor Jodi Harris noticed that I was better in Algebra and urged me to become an Algebra teacher. I’ve always liked math and wanted to focus on math.

Also, I enjoyed Broward College for it being a smaller college and how the professors took their time to help the students.

ET: Now, tell me about your time at Broward College as a professor.

AF: I love how my former students come and say hi and catch up. Students have told me how much they didn’t like math and how I’ve helped them to overcome that obstacle. I was even able to help a student go to Harvard on a Broward College’s President’s list.

ET: That’s amazing! Now, what classes did you teach at Broward College Central?

AF: I taught Pre-Algebra, Pre-Statistics, and Algebra 1.

ET: Now let’s get into some bat-discussion. Do you remember when you first got exposed to Batman? Was it from your family telling about your grandfather, or did you discover him differently?

AF: I don’t remember because that was at a time when I was very little. I remember my father was always very proud of my grandfather and always said Bill deserved credit from creating Batman. Also, watching the reruns of Super Friends and the ’66 Batman show.

ET: How much have you embraced the Batman? Have you read the comics, watched the movies and TV shows?

AF: Yes, I’ve done all three.

ET: Which stood out the most for you?

AF: For tv shows, definitely the 1966 Batman with Adam West and the 90’s animated series. The animated series was great since the show embraced its dark roots within its storylines while having a visually appealing look. For movies, the ’89 Batman with Michael Keaton since it was just dark and campy. For comics, Kingdom Come was especially exciting since its story was the Justice League growing old with incredible artwork.

ET: What do you want people to take away from your grandfather?

AF: We need to give what creditors do. With the help of the documentary and comic writers and artists, we were able to provide Bill with the credit he deserves. Also, we can’t forget Bob Kane’s collaboration with Bill. Without Bob, the essential idea of Batman wouldn’t exist.

After talking with Athena, I learned much about how pride, love, and hard work can go a long way and how sometimes history is around you. If there’s something worth fighting for, go for it.


Email: trite1@mail.broward.edu

Photo Caption: Comic depiction of the creative process of the Dark Knight between Bill Finger and Bob Kane.                                                      

Photo courtesy of nypost.com