Originally Posted by Ultradude
By the way, actually itís very clear that Batman was heavily inspired by Zorro. The Shadow himself was probably Zorro inspired too as were most pulp characters. Just look at the black hat and black cloak and facial cover. But Batman is an almost straight knock off rip off of Zorro. Heís just an updated Zorro. There are more similarities than differences and the differences pretty much sum up to just what was needed to update him to the 20th century. The only major difference is really the bat motive. Now from the Shadow Batman just really took the creeping out the criminals aspect because the mystery and creature of the night is also from Zorro. The fact Batman had a gun in the beginning doesnít mean he is mostly influenced by the Shadow. If one canít see Batman is Zorro in a bat costume and set in the 20th century instead of 19th I donít know what could be more obvious than that. Just line up all character traits and you will clearly see it, even down to the cowl mask. Batman just added the pointy ears.
I'm afraid you are mistaken -- and understandably so. The Zorro myth has been passed on for so long as fact even by Batman's "creator", Bob Kane [maybe especially by him], no one really takes time to look into it. I'm not saying that no aspects from Zorro influenced Batman. Perhaps the most significant involved Douglas Fairbanks acrobatics when he portrayed Zorro in the very first Zorro movie The Mark of Zorro
Check out the article I linked too [more links just below] - even if you don't know much about The Shadow, it becomes painfully obvious that the majority of Batman comes directly from The Shadow. Here's a quick excerpt:
Greenberger: What makes this story [Partners of Peril] significant for comic book fans?
Anthony Tollin: Well, it clearly establishes that without The Shadow, there would be no Batman! Since the first Batman story was a start-to-finish lift of an earlier Shadow novel, it establishes that the similarities between the two characters were no accident. Bruce Wayne is wealthy young man about town Lamont Cranston. The friendship between Bruce and Commissioner James Gordon (whose name comes from The Shadow's sister magazine, The Whsiperer) is no different from the relationship between Cranston and Weston. Batman's talent for escapes also comes from The Shadow, since the first recorded Batman escape duplicates The Shadow's in the same story. And the Shadow lifts continued in subsequent stories, even ones written by Gardner Fox, which gave Batman an autogiro, Bat-a-rangs like The Shadow's cable-outfitted "yellow boomerang," and a suction-cup device for scaling walls ... all Shadow gimmicks. Without the Knight of Darkness, there would be no Dark Knight.
I'll even expand on a tidbit mentioned in the paragraph above. Here it is, the secret origin of Commissioner James Gordon...
The Shadow, proved enormously popular for Street & Smith [the magazine came out twice a month for over a decade] so much so that S&S even created a couple copycats themselves; The Avenger and The Whisperer. I don't know near as much about The Whisperer as I would like, but I'll gladly share what I do know...
The Whisperer started off in a solo magazine, but it did not sell as well as S&S had hoped so they canceled the solo mag. However, the character proved popular enough that S&S brought him back in stories found in The Shadow Magazine
's Back Pages.
The Whisperer, popular enough to survive cancellation and be brought back, debuted in The Whisperer #1, October, 1936. The Whisperer's real identity is James "Wildcat" Gordon, the Commissioner of Police of New York City. Unfortunately, Gordon has an enemy, Henry Bolton, who lusted after the post of Commissioner and sets out to discredit Gordon in revenge. Gordon is annoyed at the slowness of police work and the courts and at being hampered by Bolton, and so became The Whisperer, a costumed vigilante who can deal out justice to criminals without being slowed by technicalities like "arrests" and "due process." The Whisperer dresses in gray and blends into the shadows and the background in much the same manner as the Shadow himself. He wears special plates on his face and in his mouth; these alter the shape of his face so that he is unrecognizable but also prevent him from speaking in anything other than a strange, weird whisper. He also uses "super-silenced" automatics, ,the better to kill you with, my dear. He is aided by Richard "Quick Trigger" Traeger, an aged policeman who is Gordon's right hand man and who made the special plates for Gordon.