“The Batman” first appeared in May, 1939.

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The caped crusader swung into action on his debut in May 1939 in Detective Comics #27.
In response to the popularity of Superman and the demand for more superheroes, Bob Kane created “Batman,” who started out as a wealthy millionaire who mooonlights as a pistol-packing sleuth.
In fact, unlike today’s Batman, the original Batman had no problem dispatching criminals without a second thought.
As Comics Alliance notes, he essentially started out as a kind of rip-off of The Shadow — also a wealthy crime-fighting detective – except in a different skin.
The characters also drew inspiration from Zorro and the Phantom, also popular characters during the 1930s.
Read on via Batman Through the Ages : Discovery News.