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(io9)   The idea for Batman was stolen from Spring Heeled Jack, who was a London urban myth, and prototype superhero   (io9.com) divider line 57
    More: Cool, Spring Heeled Jack, Batman, prototype superhero, myths, Zorro  
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3266 clicks; posted to Geek » on 24 Jan 2014 at 12:10 AM (31 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-23 08:35:54 PM
www.spookyisles.com
Who the hell do you think I am? I am the god damned Spring Heeled Jack!
 
2014-01-24 12:12:42 AM
A thief stole his boots.
 
2014-01-24 12:13:50 AM
Enchanted by that dark and mist-blown strawberry spring, and by the shadow of violent death that walked through it on those nights eight years ago. The shadow of Springheel Jack........

/one of Stephen King's best early stories
 
2014-01-24 12:18:16 AM
superhero? thought he was a prankster at best and a demonic killer at worst
 
2014-01-24 12:21:31 AM

Bonanza Jellybean: superhero? thought he was a prankster at best and a demonic killer at worst


Doesn't that exactly describe Batman?
 
ecl
2014-01-24 12:22:09 AM
WHAT ARE YOU!?
cdn01.cdn.justjared.com

I'm the guy from Avatar.
latimesherocomplex.files.wordpress.com
 
2014-01-24 12:33:01 AM

phalamir: Bonanza Jellybean: superhero? thought he was a prankster at best and a demonic killer at worst

Doesn't that exactly describe Batman?


Batman was known for some of the Joker's worst boners, if threads on FARK are any indication.
 
2014-01-24 12:37:24 AM
Batman:
upload.wikimedia.org
+
Zorro
encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com
=
 
2014-01-24 12:38:27 AM
mimg.ugo.com
 
2014-01-24 12:39:28 AM
Stolen?

/why so scurrilous?
 
2014-01-24 12:43:31 AM
I think it's safe to say that Batman is basically the combination of a lot of folk story masked vigilantes and urban legends.  Though the original legend of Spring Heel Jack was, to my recollection, a kind of violent psycho or a demonic humanoid, and it only later, long after the original "attacks," that they started writing fiction involving the character being anything other than a chaotic murder.
 
ecl
2014-01-24 12:43:34 AM
3.bp.blogspot.com
 
2014-01-24 12:43:40 AM
And which Victorian gay boy porn was the inspiration for Robin?
 
2014-01-24 12:49:07 AM
I've always thought of Odysseus, first "gadgeteer" master of bronze age disguise (sheep v cyclops, not-Odysseus v suitors) and all around brains-over-brawn hero. Always sad that it was Jason who got to leave Heracles on the beach and not Odysseus, it would have been a proto Batman v Superman. Oh and the Argonauts was the first team-up, if I care to stretch that metaphor. Ekidu beats out Patroclus as first ever sidekick/boy wonder, but since he was as tough as Gilgamesh, I don't know if he qualifies for the archtype, Patroclus definitely wins on lack-of-ability and its a tie in homoeroticism imo (Gilgamesh and Enkidu met, wrestled each other to exhaustion and then became lifelong "friends" lol)
 
2014-01-24 01:25:10 AM
Batman is the sum total of every Batman trope that ever successfully sold comics. Also, he exists in several forms: kid-friendly, teen-friendly, angry-virgin-friendly, fetish-dolly-friendly, etc.
 
2014-01-24 01:27:25 AM
Didn't Bob Kane come out at one point and say that Batman was a flat-out rip-off of Zorro?
 
2014-01-24 01:34:03 AM
Funny, I was under the impression that Spring Heeled Jack was another name for Jack the Ripper.
 
2014-01-24 01:39:56 AM

clyph: Didn't Bob Kane come out at one point and say that Batman was a flat-out rip-off of Zorro?


What would Bob Kane know about the though process behind creating Batman?

tytempletonart.files.wordpress.com
 
2014-01-24 02:33:36 AM

clyph: Didn't Bob Kane come out at one point and say that Batman was a flat-out rip-off of Zorro?


Yup. Actually it was Zorro, Shadow, leardo davinchi bat glider and a movie The Bat whisperer.

Batmans co creator- Bill a Finger, brought in the rich playboy, detective and made bill redesign the uniform
 
2014-01-24 02:52:03 AM
I thought Spring Heeled Jack was a ska band
 
2014-01-24 04:18:00 AM

Mad_Radhu: clyph: Didn't Bob Kane come out at one point and say that Batman was a flat-out rip-off of Zorro?

What would Bob Kane know about the though process behind creating Batman?

[tytempletonart.files.wordpress.com image 500x700]


Let's not forget Jerry Robinson.

For all the shiat Stan Lee gets, at least Lee was an important part of the creative process, either as scripter, editor, or idea man. All Kane ever did was negotiate sweetheart deals for himself and slap his name on the work of others.
 
2014-01-24 05:11:33 AM

Nicholas D. Wolfwood: Funny, I was under the impression that Spring Heeled Jack was another name for Jack the Ripper.


That is what I thought as well.
 
2014-01-24 05:18:10 AM
They're talking about the version of SHJ from some 'penny dreadful' stories written at the time....

The supposedly 'real' stories are quite different, and took place about 50 years prior to the Jack the Ripper killings.  There were ridiculous amounts of sightings and some reports of attacks.  He was credited with at least one death.  A woman supposedly fell from a bridge into a river after being attacked by him.
The most famous report was him showing up at a house, knocking on the door and claiming to be a policeman there to warn them that SHJ had been seen next door.  When a woman living there opened the door, he blew some sort of blinding/choking powder in her face and slashed her clothing with 'metal claws'.
 
2014-01-24 05:20:52 AM

FirstNationalBastard: Mad_Radhu: clyph: Didn't Bob Kane come out at one point and say that Batman was a flat-out rip-off of Zorro?

What would Bob Kane know about the though process behind creating Batman?

[tytempletonart.files.wordpress.com image 500x700]

Let's not forget Jerry Robinson.

For all the shiat Stan Lee gets, at least Lee was an important part of the creative process, either as scripter, editor, or idea man. All Kane ever did was negotiate sweetheart deals for himself and slap his name on the work of others.


That's not completely true. At the time, comic book companies hired comic studios to make content for the books. Bob Kane ran such a studio and he hired Bill Finger and Jerry Robinson to work for him. This was a common practice, as Shuster and Segal, Will Eisner, Walt Disney and others did this for comics and comic strips. Any work that was done by the studio was credited to the founder, or a company pseudonym.

Bob Kane ran the studio- he collaborated with his employees- but he made the ultimate call as he was the head of the studio. Kane claimed he and Finger would bounce ideas off of each other all the time. Later in his life, Kane regretted his mistreatment of Finger

According to Kane, "Bill Finger was a contributing force on Batman right from the beginning. He wrote most of the great stories and was influential in setting the style and genre other writers would emulate ... I made Batman a superhero-vigilante when I first created him. Bill turned him into a scientific detective."

So yeah, Finger deserved co-creator credit with Kane- but that didn't diminish Bob Kane's creator status.
 
2014-01-24 07:19:21 AM

Bonanza Jellybean: superhero? thought he was a prankster at best and a demonic killer at worst


The mythical folk figure, yes. The created penny-dreadful character,no. The created character was a hero.
 
2014-01-24 07:26:59 AM
Jack was more like The Joker than Batman originally. All kinds of outrages were attributed to him.
 
2014-01-24 08:05:09 AM
Umm...no.  Actually Batman was inspired specifically by The Shadow.  Even his first adventure, "The Case of the Chemical Syndicate" was a rip-off of a now-famous Shadow pulp called "The Partners of Peril".

img.fark.net

I recommend you read this:

http://www.dialbforblog.com/archives/389/
 
2014-01-24 08:06:19 AM

FirstNationalBastard: Mad_Radhu: clyph: Didn't Bob Kane come out at one point and say that Batman was a flat-out rip-off of Zorro?

What would Bob Kane know about the though process behind creating Batman?

[tytempletonart.files.wordpress.com image 500x700]

Let's not forget Jerry Robinson.

For all the shiat Stan Lee gets, at least Lee was an important part of the creative process, either as scripter, editor, or idea man. All Kane ever did was negotiate sweetheart deals for himself and slap his name on the work of others.


Bob Kane held some hellacious orgies back in the day, though...

img2u.info
RIP Bob Kane
 
2014-01-24 08:06:55 AM

Miss Stein: Enchanted by that dark and mist-blown strawberry spring, and by the shadow of violent death that walked through it on those nights eight years ago. The shadow of Springheel Jack........

/one of Stephen King's best early stories


I'm sorry, but isn't that an oxymoron? 'Stephen king' and 'best' can't go in the same sentence. You're implying anything he writes is remotely quality.
 
2014-01-24 08:44:52 AM

FirstNationalBastard: For all the shiat Stan Lee gets, at least Lee was an important part of the creative process, either as scripter, editor, or idea man. All Kane ever did was negotiate sweetheart deals for himself and slap his name on the work of others.


Sounds like Thomas Edison.
 
2014-01-24 08:46:55 AM

kroonermanblack: Miss Stein: Enchanted by that dark and mist-blown strawberry spring, and by the shadow of violent death that walked through it on those nights eight years ago. The shadow of Springheel Jack........

/one of Stephen King's best early stories

I'm sorry, but isn't that an oxymoron? 'Stephen king' and 'best' can't go in the same sentence. You're implying anything he writes is remotely quality.



www.quickmeme.com
 
2014-01-24 08:51:25 AM

kroonermanblack: Miss Stein: Enchanted by that dark and mist-blown strawberry spring, and by the shadow of violent death that walked through it on those nights eight years ago. The shadow of Springheel Jack........

/one of Stephen King's best early stories

I'm sorry, but isn't that an oxymoron? 'Stephen king' and 'best' can't go in the same sentence. You're implying anything he writes is remotely quality.


Well, no, it doesn't work like that.  It's a completely internal comparison, comparing Stephen King's individual works against his entire body of works.

So there can be a "best" Stephen King work, just like there can be a "best turd" in a septic tank.
 
2014-01-24 08:54:03 AM

neuroflare: I thought Spring Heeled Jack was a ska band



Indeed.  Some of my favorite shows from my youth.  Too bad their album was crap.
 
2014-01-24 09:15:54 AM

neuroflare: I thought Spring Heeled Jack was a ska band


He shows up in many of Simon R Green's Secret Histories series along with many other historically fictitious characters.
 
2014-01-24 09:33:08 AM

dittybopper: kroonermanblack: Miss Stein: Enchanted by that dark and mist-blown strawberry spring, and by the shadow of violent death that walked through it on those nights eight years ago. The shadow of Springheel Jack........

/one of Stephen King's best early stories

I'm sorry, but isn't that an oxymoron? 'Stephen king' and 'best' can't go in the same sentence. You're implying anything he writes is remotely quality.

Well, no, it doesn't work like that.  It's a completely internal comparison, comparing Stephen King's individual works against his entire body of works.

So there can be a "best" Stephen King work, just like there can be a "best turd" in a septic tank.


Thank you. He had my OCD twitching.
 
2014-01-24 09:33:54 AM

kroonermanblack: Miss Stein: Enchanted by that dark and mist-blown strawberry spring, and by the shadow of violent death that walked through it on those nights eight years ago. The shadow of Springheel Jack........

/one of Stephen King's best early stories

I'm sorry, but isn't that an oxymoron? 'Stephen king' and 'best' can't go in the same sentence. You're implying anything he writes is remotely quality.


I'm sorry but in this age of 50 shades of stupid Stephen King "badness" is friggen Mozart
 
2014-01-24 09:36:08 AM
I doubt it. Mostly because Batman already has a pretty well documented lineage as determined from interviewing the primary creators themselves over the years. They explained it plausibly already in their own words. Not to say that it hasn't happened in lots of instances before where people have been unconsciously inspired by something they don't remember seeing. That's okay though. No prize awarded.

The thing that's irking me after having seen the original post and this articlette is that the image is clearly not a book cover. Let alone a Victorian book cover. A GIS only shows that same image without any text as a book or magazine cover would have. The picture is a book illustration, and a 20th century one at that because it's in colour and a painting, both being notably unusual for a penny dreadful cover from the era.

I'll look more when I have a desktop, but I'll bet this Batmanesque Spring Heeled Jack picture post-dates Batman, probably from a book from the 50s and it's a copy, reinterpretation of one of the simpler line illustrated book covers.
 
2014-01-24 09:48:34 AM
Subby a few pieces of advice on this thing called reading...

1. When you read a story with a lot of "maybe"s, "possibly"s, "could have"s and "In my humble opinion"s, that means that it MIGHT have happened, not that it DID.

2. When it's an old urban legend that's roughly 100 years old, it's not "stealing", is called influence.

3. Your author was embellishing on the original urban legend himself.

4. I don't think Batman would like his debut, actually(It makes him kinda rape-y): According to much later accounts, in October 1837, a girl by the name of Mary Stevens was walking to Lavender Hill, where she was working as a servant, after visiting her parents in Battersea. On her way through Clapham Common, a strange figure leapt at her from a dark alley. After immobilising her with a tight grip of his arms, he began to kiss her face, while ripping her clothes and touching her flesh with his claws, which were, according to her deposition, "cold and clammy as those of a corpse". In panic, the girl screamed, making the attacker quickly flee from the scene. The commotion brought several residents who immediately launched a search for the aggressor, who could not be found.
 
2014-01-24 09:52:04 AM

kryptoknightmare: Umm...no.  Actually Batman was inspired specifically by The Shadow.  Even his first adventure, "The Case of the Chemical Syndicate" was a rip-off of a now-famous Shadow pulp called "The Partners of Peril".

[img.fark.net image 576x770]

I recommend you read this:

http://www.dialbforblog.com/archives/389/


Wow, no wonder he needed to be able to "cloud men's minds". That nose is traumatic as hell...
 
2014-01-24 09:53:50 AM

Doc Batarang: I doubt it. Mostly because Batman already has a pretty well documented lineage as determined from interviewing the primary creators themselves over the years. They explained it plausibly already in their own words. Not to say that it hasn't happened in lots of instances before where people have been unconsciously inspired by something they don't remember seeing. That's okay though. No prize awarded.

The thing that's irking me after having seen the original post and this articlette is that the image is clearly not a book cover. Let alone a Victorian book cover. A GIS only shows that same image without any text as a book or magazine cover would have. The picture is a book illustration, and a 20th century one at that because it's in colour and a painting, both being notably unusual for a penny dreadful cover from the era.

I'll look more when I have a desktop, but I'll bet this Batmanesque Spring Heeled Jack picture post-dates Batman, probably from a book from the 50s and it's a copy, reinterpretation of one of the simpler line illustrated book covers.


Wikipedia has it as 1904.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spring-heeled_Jack
 
2014-01-24 10:51:46 AM

King Something: A thief stole his boots.


This thief didn't even need 'em to survive the fall, either!

/jump, jump, jump
 
2014-01-24 11:16:46 AM
2.bp.blogspot.com
Would like a word
 
2014-01-24 11:25:49 AM

Mikey1969: Doc Batarang: I doubt it. Mostly because Batman already has a pretty well documented lineage as determined from interviewing the primary creators themselves over the years. They explained it plausibly already in their own words. Not to say that it hasn't happened in lots of instances before where people have been unconsciously inspired by something they don't remember seeing. That's okay though. No prize awarded.

The thing that's irking me after having seen the original post and this articlette is that the image is clearly not a book cover. Let alone a Victorian book cover. A GIS only shows that same image without any text as a book or magazine cover would have. The picture is a book illustration, and a 20th century one at that because it's in colour and a painting, both being notably unusual for a penny dreadful cover from the era.

I'll look more when I have a desktop, but I'll bet this Batmanesque Spring Heeled Jack picture post-dates Batman, probably from a book from the 50s and it's a copy, reinterpretation of one of the simpler line illustrated book covers.

Wikipedia has it as 1904.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spring-heeled_Jack


Thus begins the problem. From Wikipedia, we can see that the image was attributed to a publishing company. However, there are lots of covers from that company and this lone spring heel jack image is the only one that has no text and no title. The others were done by a guy named Robert Prowse Junior circa the 1900-10s and his Spring Heeled Jack doesn't have that same superhero quality, but is instead a moustachioed maskless guy with a scalloped cape (admittedly diagnostic of a Batman :)). I stand by my thinking that this is a post-Batman book illustration, now inspired by a previous Robert Prowse Jr. drawing.

I have a hunch that someone has all of these scanned and available online somewhere (I'm on my phone), and we could go through all the Aldine Spring heel jack books and determine if this was an era illustration of some kind included in the original books or a later work.
 
2014-01-24 11:33:41 AM

Doc Batarang: Thus begins the problem. From Wikipedia, we can see that the image was attributed to a publishing company. However, there are lots of covers from that company and this lone spring heel jack image is the only one that has no text and no title. The others were done by a guy named Robert Prowse Junior circa the 1900-10s and his Spring Heeled Jack doesn't have that same superhero quality, but is instead a moustachioed maskless guy with a scalloped cape (admittedly diagnostic of a Batman :)). I stand by my thinking that this is a post-Batman book illustration, now inspired by a previous Robert Prowse Jr. drawing.

I have a hunch that someone has all of these scanned and available online somewhere (I'm on my phone), and we could go through all the Aldine Spring heel jack books and determine if this was an era illustration of some kind included in the original books or a later work.


Yeah, I'm thinking Subby's "stolen" headline is a bit misleading myself... SHJ is an interesting story, considering the legs it had(Pun intended)...
 
2014-01-24 11:50:57 AM

deadsanta: I've always thought of Odysseus, first "gadgeteer" master of bronze age disguise (sheep v cyclops, not-Odysseus v suitors) and all around brains-over-brawn hero. Always sad that it was Jason who got to leave Heracles on the beach and not Odysseus, it would have been a proto Batman v Superman. Oh and the Argonauts was the first team-up, if I care to stretch that metaphor. Ekidu beats out Patroclus as first ever sidekick/boy wonder, but since he was as tough as Gilgamesh, I don't know if he qualifies for the archtype, Patroclus definitely wins on lack-of-ability and its a tie in homoeroticism imo (Gilgamesh and Enkidu met, wrestled each other to exhaustion and then became lifelong "friends" lol)


Well played. No one reads the classics anymore.
 
2014-01-24 12:46:36 PM

neuroflare: I thought Spring Heeled Jack was a ska band


that was spring foot jack and they were awesome until the drummer died
 
2014-01-24 01:02:16 PM

fearmongert: [mimg.ugo.com image 480x317]

Hey, that's the mayor of Gotham!
 
2014-01-24 01:11:45 PM

kroonermanblack: Miss Stein: Enchanted by that dark and mist-blown strawberry spring, and by the shadow of violent death that walked through it on those nights eight years ago. The shadow of Springheel Jack........

/one of Stephen King's best early stories

I'm sorry, but isn't that an oxymoron? 'Stephen king' and 'best' can't go in the same sentence. You're implying anything he writes is remotely quality.


I know what you need
 
2014-01-24 01:59:20 PM
What about Half-Cocked Jack?
 
2014-01-24 02:04:26 PM

Mikey1969: Doc Batarang: Thus begins the problem. From Wikipedia, we can see that the image was attributed to a publishing company. However, there are lots of covers from that company and this lone spring heel jack image is the only one that has no text and no title. The others were done by a guy named Robert Prowse Junior circa the 1900-10s and his Spring Heeled Jack doesn't have that same superhero quality, but is instead a moustachioed maskless guy with a scalloped cape (admittedly diagnostic of a Batman :)). I stand by my thinking that this is a post-Batman book illustration, now inspired by a previous Robert Prowse Jr. drawing.

I have a hunch that someone has all of these scanned and available online somewhere (I'm on my phone), and we could go through all the Aldine Spring heel jack books and determine if this was an era illustration of some kind included in the original books or a later work.

Yeah, I'm thinking Subby's "stolen" headline is a bit misleading myself... SHJ is an interesting story, considering the legs it had(Pun intended)...


I was wrong! I found the cover and it's Spring Heeled Jack #2 done by Robert Prowse Jr. In 1904. A British indie film company has the original drawing, which is the source of the image which is bumping around.

Though the premise is still faulty, the nature of the image has been explained to my satisfaction.

The thing that's bugging me now is why Mr. Prowse ditched the cape-and-cowl look - a design decision which created outright millionaires several years later.
 
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