Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Batman #255: "Moon of the Wolf" (Neal Adams art)
Download Batman #255
An influential and innovative artist, Neal Adams did the majority of his comic-book work after he'd drawn the successful newspaper strip Ben Casey in the early 1960s. By the late 1960s, he was working for DC Comics. Adams drew Deadman in Strange Adventures, upgraded Batman and rescued him from his TV-induced camp phase and, working with writer Denny O'Neil on Green Lantern/Green Arrow, epitomized the relevancy phase that comics went through in the early 1970s. He also drew X-Men and The Avengers for Marvel.
Neal Adams had worked for the Johnstone and Cushing art service while still in his teens. They produced cartoon and comic-strip ads, and one of their star performers was Stan Drake. The young Adams was much influenced by Drake's sketchy, illustrative style. Later he assisted Drake on The Heart of Juliet Jones newspaper strip. The work he did for comic books went beyond the house styles of DC and Marvel, bringing in a slick advertising look as well as a touch of gritty realism.
His Deadman, while causing fan enthusiasm and colleague admiration, did not prove to be a viable hero initially. The social awareness issues of GL/GA, dealing with such problems as drug abuse and racism and broadening the range of what comic books could do, gained considerable attention in the media. The magazine itself, though, was canceled early in 1972. Adams drew his modernized and somewhat sophisticated version of Batman about this time, also managing to work on The Avengers over at Marvel. His take on the Dark Knight influenced several artists who followed.
In the middle 1970s Adams was also one of those who campaigned for and succeeded in getting royalties for Jerry Siegel and joe Shuster for having created Superman. Adams started producing his own comics in the 1980s, including Echo of Future Past and Ms. Mystic. He has been far less active in comic books for the past two decades, and his Continuity Associates has concentrated on advertising and animatics.
Cover: Neal Adams and Nick Cardy
Script: Len Wein
Pencils: Neal Adams
Inks: Dick Giordano
Special surprise bonus download:
Download Batman Illustrated Volume #1