Neal Adams in 1979.
Photo: Jones/Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Influential comics artist and creators’ rights advocate Neal Adams dies at 80 Delay reports. According to his daughter-in-law Saori Adams, he died on April 28. Adams has worked on a wide range of iconic superhero characters, including DC’s Batman and Joker and Marvel’s X-Men and Avengers. “Neal Adams was an amazing illustrator, he changed comics,” said Jim Lee, DC Publisher and Chief Creative Officer. statement. “I loved his take on Batman. It was flexible, acrobatic and dynamic. Neal’s work continues to inspire me. It’s a huge loss for the entire industry.
Born in 1941 on Governors Island in New York, Adams studied at the School of Industrial Arts in New York. His early work on Ben Casey newspaper comics helped launch an artistic career that spanned nearly six decades and led him to big names like DC and Marvel. In 1970, it illustrates a scene in which an old black man confronts Green Lantern for not paying enough attention to the concerns of people of color. Vulture named it one of the most notable pages in American comic book history. Adams created the scene with writer Dennis O’Neil, a frequent collaborator of his. The pair were responsible for reviving Two-Face and creating the character of Ra’s al Ghul. They were also the force behind one of DC’s first black superheroes, John Stewart.
However, Adams’ career has extended beyond his illustrations for comics. In 1971, he and Dick Giordano co-founded Continuity Studios, a company that created graphics, film storyboards, and publicity art. Adams was also known for passionately advocating for creators’ rights; in the 1970s he helped organize the comic book industry and worked to form the Comic Creators Guild. His efforts also led DC to credit and award Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. In 1998, he was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame for the Eisner Award. The following year, he was inducted into the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame at the Harvey Awards. And in 2019, he was inducted into the Inkwell Awards Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame in 2019 for lifetime achievement. “RIP Neal Adams”, Guillermo del Toro tweeted in response to his death, “one of the first and great stylists to push American comics to a new level”.