For more than 75 years, through countless comics, television, and movies, Batman has been a symbol of strength and perseverance. He was created in 1939, on the brink of World War II -- a volatile time, when we needed a hero most. Who better to come to the rescue than the Caped Crusader? For the first time, Batman: The War Years 1939-1945 details The Dark Knight’s involvement in the war and his fight against some very real villains.
The poor little rich boy orphaned in a late-night robbery. The lad training for years so that one day he could avenge his parents' deaths. The bat that flies through the window at a crucial moment, inspiring Bruce Wayne with a name and a motif. All of these are wonderful elements in a timeless tale. By early 1940, both Batman and Robin were up and running in no less than two hit comic books. Bob Kane hired a teenager that he happened to meet—Jerry Robinson—to help him churn out what looked like a nice long run of Batman stories.
They didn't know the half of it.
For, as the Second World War loomed ever larger on the horizon, Batman was about to become big business, comic-book style.
Ray Thomas has beena comics writer since 1965, mostly for Marvel or DC. Among the thousands of comic books he has written are Conan the Barbarian, The Avengers, The X-Men, Fantastic Four, All-Star Squadron, Sub-Mariner, The Invaders, Dr. Strange, Red Sonja, Wonder Woman, and The Savage Sword of Conan.
Having co-founded the super-hero comics fanzine Alter Ego in 1961, Roy Thomas (b. 1940) became writer/assistant editor for Stan Lee at Marvel Comics in 1965 after a very brief stint as assistant editor of DC's Superman titles. From 1965-1980 and/or during the 1990s he wrote for Marvel The Avengers, The X-Men, Fantastic Four, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Dr. Strange, Daredevil, Sub-Mariner, Avengers West Coast, The Amazing Spider-Man, et al.--including The Invaders, a comic which spun near WWII-period adventures of Captain America, the Human Torch, and the Sub-Mariner. In the '70s he was the first writer and editor of Marvel's Conan the Barbarian, The Savage Sword of Conan, and Red Sonja, whom he again authored in the 1990s. At DC Comics in the 1980s he wrote All-Star Squadron (a super-hero comic set in 1941-42), Shazam!, Secret Origins (retelling WWII-era origins of DC's heroes), Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, and other top series. He served as a Marvel editor from 1965-80, as Marvel's editor-in-chief from 1972-74, and as a DC editor from 1980-86.
At Marvel he co-created Ultron and the Vision (both of whom will be prominently featured in the 2015 film The Avengers: Age of Ultron) and Iron Fist, the kung-fu super-hero who will be featured later this year by Netflix in both his own series and in The Defenders. He has written a number of graphic novels starring Conan, Spider-Man, Dracula, et al.
Also in the '80s, he co-scripted the films Fire and Ice (for director Ralph Bakshi and 20th Century Fox) and Conan the Destroyer (for Universal), starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. He also provided scripts for the 1980s TV science-fiction series Super Force, for the 1990s TV series Xena - Warrior Princess, and for a bit of TV animation.
Since 1999 he has edited a professional Alter Ego magazine (130 issues so far and counting) and has worked with Stan Lee on the scripting of the Spider-Man newspaper comic strip. He currently also writes online strips of Tarzan and John Carter of Mars for Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.. For the German publisher Taschen he has written the humongous book 75 Years of Marvel: From Golden Age to Silver Screen, (released in late 2014) and is also writing an equally huge book about Marvel's Stan Lee. Besides winning numerous other fan and pro awards in the comics field over the years, he was elected to comics' Eisner Hall of Fame at the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con.