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Friday, November 6, 1998 Published at 09:51 GMT

World: Americas

Batman creator dies at 83

Bob Kane's Batman: In continuous publication for more than 50 years

Bob Kane, the comic book artist and writer who created Batman for DC comics while still in his teens, has died at the age of 83.

The President and Editor in Chief of DC Comics, Jenette Kahn, said, "Bob Kane is a giant in the field of popular culture, one of a handful of people who launched the comic book industry and who gave the world a group of characters so colourful and that they continue to captivate every new generation.

[ image: Creator of a 20th century icon]
Creator of a 20th century icon
"Bob will be greatly missed, but he has left a legacy that will keep his memory alive."

Bob Kane, a self-proclaimed "doodler" once said he was inspired to draw Batman after studying Leonardo da Vinci's drawings.

An immediate hit, the caped crusader has been in continuous publication since 1940, with new stories every month.

This feat of almost superhuman endurance is shared only by Wonder Woman and Superman.

Batman's bid to rid Gotham City of crime and fear also took off in newspaper strips, movie shorts, an animated cartoon series, the memorable 1960s live-action television show, and four money-spinning Warner Brothers feature films.

Besides conceiving the Dark Knight, Mr Kane was also the cartoonist on the comic series when Robin the Boy Wonder, the Joker, Catwoman and the Riddler - among others - made their first appearances

He also created the television cartoon characters Courageous Cat, Minute Mouse, and Cool McCool. More recently he served as a consultant on the Batman films.

Mr Kane, who died at his home in California, is survived by his wife, and daughter.

Look! Up in the sky!

The caped crusader was unique on the superhero scene of the 40's as an ordinary human being with no super powers.

Traumatised by witnessing the murder of his parents, the young Bruce Wayne vows to avenge their deaths by spending the rest of his life bringing criminals to justice in his home of Gotham.

He uses his vast fortune to study criminology, train his body and mind to perfection, and assemble a batcave full of vehicles and gadgets.

[ image: Val Kilmer's stint under the mantle]
Val Kilmer's stint under the mantle
When he is startled one night by a bat outside his window, he decides to dress as a "bat" man to strike fear into the "cowardly and superstitious" criminal heart.

At various times, Batman is also known as the Dark Knight, the Darknight Detective, and the Caped Crusader.

Since he first began fighting crime, Batman and his supporting cast have spawned a number of new comics

Bat Facts

  • Real Name: Bruce Wayne

  • Occupation: Owner of Wayne Enterprises and crime fighter.

  • Known Allies: Nightwing, Robin, The Oracle, Green Arrow, Wonder Woman, The Huntress, Superman, Alfred Pennyworth, The Flash (Wally West), and Azrael.

  • Known Enemies: The Joker, The Penguin, Two-Face, Poison Ivy, The Scarecrow, Ra's Al Ghul, The Mad Hatter, The Riddler, Mr. Freeze.

  • Batman is the main star of six comics including Batman: Shadow Of The Bat, The Batman Chronicles, and The Batman Adventures.

  • One of Batman's hallmarks is his stock of crime-fighting gadgets. Perhaps best known are his Utility Belt, the Batmobile, the Batplane, the Batrope, the Batcycle, the Batboat, and the Bat Signal.

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