General 'Mad' Anthony Wayne: Wayne County and Batman namesake

By Dane Sager Kelly - Web Producer

Wayne County, WSU and Batman namesake, "Mad" Anthony Wayne.

DETROIT - The filming of Detroit for Gotham in 2016's "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" isn't the only connection between the Motor City and the Caped Crusader.

Bob Kane and Bill Finger worked together to create "the Bat-man" in the 1930s. While the base character was Kane's creation, Finger shaped the ideas into the Batman we know today, changing a domino mask to a cowl, and giving him a cape and gloves. 

Finger said the name Bruce Wayne came from combining two historical figures -- one of whom has a connection to Metro Detroit.

Bruce Wayne's first name came from Robert Bruce, the Scottish patriot. Wayne, being a playboy, was a man of gentry. I searched for a name that would suggest colonialism. I tried Adams, Hancock, Then I thought of Mad Anthony Wayne.

Wayne County was established in 1796 and was the sixth county formed in the Northwest Territory, named after famed American Revolutionary War general "Mad" Anthony Wayne. 

Wayne earned the nickname Mad Anthony due to his aggressive and passionate nature on and off of the battlefield. He died of complications from gout on Dec. 15, 1796 during a return trip to Pennsylvania from a military post in Detroit.

Finger and Kane took influences from pulp magazines, Zorro, Dick Tracy, Sherlock Holmes and more. 

There are 15 counties across the United States named after Anthony Wayne.

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