April ends saddest in the world of comics. Neal Adams, one of the most influential artists in the media, passed away at the age of 80 this Thursday (28), due to complications from infections that ended up generating sepsis. The information was provided by the illustrator’s wife to The Hollywood Reporter.
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Adams was one of the greatest artists in comics, being responsible for the revitalization of Batman in the 1970s, which returned the Dark Knight to his darker origins after decades of being a more cheerful character, as the 1960s series starring Adam West showed.
The illustrator, along with Denny O’Neil, was also responsible for one of the most classic phases of Green Lantern Hal Jordan, in which the hero, along with Green Arrow and one of the Elders of Oa, traveled the United States facing social problems. that the country had during the early 1970s.
This phase, in particular, became a comic book landmark for exploring the social context of the USA, with stories such as the one in which Green Arrow discovers that Speedy, his sidekick, was addicted to Heroin – an issue that, when published, ended up becoming a important milestone for the fall of the infamous Comics Code Authority (CCA), which sought to control the content published in comics in the USA.
It was shortly after the Green Lantern stories that Adams would stop working for Marvel and DC and launch Continuity Studios, a studio that published comics with the characters being fully owned by their authors, the result of a constant struggle by the illustrator for better working conditions in the industry—which, years later, would lead to him, along with Stan Lee, creating the Academy of Comic Book Arts in an effort to introduce unionization in the industry. However, the two legends would soon go their separate ways, as Lee’s idea was quite different from the illustrator’s.
Adams was also responsible for Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster getting more recognition in the industry. The illustrator, when he learned of the way both artists had been treated by DC over the years, spearheaded a movement that eventually resulted in greater recognition for the duo and also caused DC to credit them in any media involving the Last Son. from Krypton.
Adams is survived by his wife, Marilyn Adams, to whom he was married for 45 years, five children, six grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Comic book world mourning Neal Adams
Shortly after The Hollywood Reporter published the news of Neal Adams’ death, several big names in the world of comics paid tribute to the illustrator on social networks, such as Fabian Nicieza and Rob Liefield, creators of Deadpool; and Gail Simone, the longest-serving author on Wonder Woman.
I am literally devastated at Neal Adams passing. He was so kind and generous and just the most amazing talent. So grateful to have called him friend.
— robliefeld (@robertliefeld) April 29, 2022
He changed what superhero comic art could be.
He fought to change how creators should be treated.
He was a titan of art and a tremendous advocate for the business of art.
Rest in Peace Neal Adams. pic.twitter.com/4bMQtE8wQo
— Fabian Nicieza (@FabianNicieza) April 29, 2022
I just heard that comics industry giant Neal Adams just passed away. ‘Legend’ hardly seems to cover the man’s talents and achievements.
So many of the keystone comics in my life were his.
My favorite were his Tarzan paperback covers.
This frankly sucks. pic.twitter.com/37wrYyGSCS
— Gail Simone 💙💛 (@GailSimone) April 29, 2022
To learn more about Neal Adams and his work, in 2019, during the illustrator’s visit to Brazil At Comic Con XP 2019, FreeGameGuide had the opportunity to interview him and talk about his decades of work in comics, in addition to the context in which each one was created—a chance to, in this sad moment, get to know who this comic book legend was.