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Neal Adams - Comic Book Legend
As the 1960s drew to an end, sales of Batman comics were suffering, the campy TV show had been a big success however the show had run its course and the comic book that had mirrored the silly style of the TV show began to wane in popularity. Things were to change for the comic and the character of Batman with the arrival at DC of artist Neal Adams and writer Denny O'Neil.
Originally Batman had been a dark character, a creature of the night, the dark knight of legend, Adams and O'Neil took the Batman back to his roots.
Born June 15th 1941 in New York, Adams studied at the School Of Industrial Art in Manhattan. After graduation Adams spent some time at Archie comics where he would work on Archies Joke Book Magazine. After leaving Archie Comics under what Adams would describe as " not the best circumstances " he turned his attention to commercial art and the advertising industry working in these industries for about a year. In 1962 Adams real career in comic books began in earnest, Adams got the job as artist on Newspaper syndicate strip " Ben Casey " which was based on a then popular television medical drama. Adams was to draw the " Ben Casey" strip for 3 and a half years and after acting as a ghost artist on various daily strips eventually ended up at DC Comics in 1967.
DC And The 1970s
Batman suddenly became worth reading again, by taking Batman back to his roots, Batman comics and thus Batman stories could be taken seriously by fans. This rejuvenation of the Batman mythos paved the way for the much darker and serious Batman that we know and love today. A direct line can be drawn from Adams and O'Neils Batman through to Christopher Nolans Batman trilogy of movies and some of the greatest graphic novels ever written, for example Alan Moores The Killing Joke and Frank Millers The Dark Knight Returns.
Ra's Al Ghul
Ra's Al Ghul is an eco terrorist character invented by Adams and O'Neil. Also known as the "Demons Head " Ra's Al Ghul is immortal and is around 600 years old, he gains his immortality from bathing in the " Lazarus Pits " a pool that contains rejuvenating chemicals that can restore the dead and dying to life. Ra's Al Ghul is classed as one of Batmans greatest villains and has appeared in two Batman movies, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight Rises both times played by Liam Neeson.
Green Lantern / Green Arrow
Contemporary to their work on Batman the Adams / O'Neil team overhauled the then failing Green Lantern comic, teaming Green Lantern with an ideologically different superhero in Green Arrow. Starting with issue # 76 the two superheroes toured the USA on a social commentary journey that looked at issues such as racism, overpopulation, drug addiction and pollution.
Green Lantern # 76 is classed as one of the most important comics of the 1970s, the comic helped usher in a time when comic books could now deal with more adult and complex issues such as drug use, GL 76 is also one of the three most valuable comics of this era.
Work At Marvel
Adams was one of the first artists to work at DC comics and Marvel at the same time. Adams worked on the failing X-Men title and although his work on the series won many plaudits he didn't manage to save the title which finished its initial run with issue # 66.
Adams has always been active politically within the comic book industry, he was the main mover in the modern practice of companies returning an artists work to them after it had been published, allowing the artist to earn residual income from sales at auction or to private collectors, after winning his battle in1987 artwork was returned to himself and other notable artists such as Jack Kirby. Alongside Jerry Robinson ( the artist who created The Joker ) Adams was instrumental in gaining long over due credit and some financial reward to Jerry Siegel and Joel Shuster the creators of Superman from DC Comics.
When You get used to seeing Adams work it becomes unmistakable to you, the list of comic book covers drawn by Adams is incredible, Adams has drawn covers featuring Batman, Superman, Superboy, the X-Men, his own creation Deadman and literally hundreds of others, check out the link below to see more of Neal Adams work.
Neal Adams Work
This is our collection of Comic covers illustrated by Neal Adams. If you find an issue in the...