Batman: Illustrated By Neal Adams Vol. 2

July 5, 2004 | Trades


Batman: Illustrated By Neal Adams Vol. 2
Neal Adams
DC Comics
$76.95/$49.99 US (Hardcover)
**** (out of five)

Holy pointless plotlines, Batman! That’s what made the character a joke in the 1950s and 60s.
From battles with alien invaders to adventures featuring Ace The Bat-Hound, tales of the world’s greatest detective were often far-fetched and just plain silly.
And worst of all is that a character that lends itself to all these great visual elements kept popping up wandering around in the sunny afternoon.
All this began to change when Neal Adams came along.
After cutting his teeth on Archie books, a syndicated comic strip based on the TV-show Ben Casey and a host of other smaller work, Adams started to garner attention for his bold work on several of DC Comics’ covers.
After moving into comic fans’ focus for his highly regarded run on Deadman, Adams started his first work with The Caped Crusader. His vision of a Batman who was lean and lithe, who kept to the shadows and did his best work at night was revolutionary.
His penchant for breaking out of the standard boxy comic book page and using unconventional design elements made Adams the most influential comic book stylist since the great Jack Kirby.
This second chronological collection of Adams work on Batman, collecting work originally published from 1969-71 and featuring some classic stories such as the first few appearances of the Man-Bat, shows off some of the best of the artist’s stylings.
The action bursts off the pages as Batman leaps from the shadows, getting back to his roots and regularly fighting actual crime.
While over 30 years later this all sounds very mundane, Adams was setting a standard which has lasted all that time. There isn’t a Batman comic in the stores today that isn’t homage to what this revolutionary artist did.
But what shouldn’t be lost in this volume is the influence of Denny O’Neil, who scripted many of these tales and whose collaborations with Adams were almost as integral as the art itself.

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