Friday, February 08, 2013
I'm not going to say too much about Neal Adams because the quality of his work and his influence on comics is well known and easy to find out about just by searching the Internet. (Or by clicking here.)
But you can't write a blog about Detective Comics without noticing him and it would be weird to just keep writing about Detective Comics without saying anything.
His first work for Detective Comics - the comic book series, not the company - was the Elongated Man story in #369, November 1967. (Which I covered here but you have to read down a bit and there's no Neal Adams art.) The first time he drew the lead feature in Detective Comics - that would be Batman - was #395, January 1970. Over the next year and a half, he drew around 8 Batman stories in Detective and most of the covers.
Here's the cover of Detective Comics #402, with the second appearance of Man-Bat:
Comics books just did not look like that in 1970! Just a few years before, comic books looked like this:
And a few years before that, they looked like this:
I'm not making fun of the earlier stories at all. (Detective Comics #323, January 1964, is from the tail-end of my favorite period of Detective. And we will be hearing more about The Zodiac Master in the future. He is wonderfully lame. Not as bad as The Spinner or Mr. Camera, but .. I take that back. He's pretty lame.) No, I'm not making fun of these stories at all. I love them all. I'm just trying to present this contrast to show why Neal Adams had such a huge impact on the medium.
Neal Adams is definitely one of the best reasons to love Detective Comics.