Batsowl: The Forerunner to Batman


Rune Priest
Before Batman, who made his debut in 1938, we had Batsowl! He first appeared in 1918 and his true identity was Desmond Devance, an aristocrat by day and vigilante by night. He even had an underground laboratory similar to the Bat Cave. Then again, even before this rather familiar crime fighter there was The Human Bat, who first appeared in print in 1899. In fact there were several Bat related heroes and villains before 1938. We know that the creators of Batman, Bob Kane and Bill Finger, drew upon popular culture for inspiration. Germany's Conrad Veidt appearance in a 1928 film adaptation of Victor Hugo's The Man Who Laughs was what inspired The Joker, for example. The rights to Batsowl are currently owned by 2000AD publisher Rebellion.

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