Neal Adams Passes Away At 80 (1942 – 2022)

by Olly MacNamee

The Hollywood Reporter has announced the death of comic book legend Neal Adams. A creator who was instrumental in rehabilitating Batman from his late ’60s kitsch presentation, thanks to the success of the Batman TV series, into the Dark Knight we all know and love today. His contribution to the Batman mythos is still plundered today by contemporary writers and artists. he helped co-create Ra’s Al Ghul, the Man-Bat and in his seminal Green Lantern/Green Arrow run he co-created John Stewart too. All with his partner in crime, Denny O’Neil. All these characters and many, many more. He may be gone, but his legacy will last lifetimes.

But besides his consummate work for DC Comics, Marvel, and many others, he also fought long and hard for creators’ rights too, which did eventually result in changes to employment laws, heralding in a new federal work-for-hire law. As well as this he also helped secure artists their original art pages, with the biggest success in this area being Jack Kirby, who finally got original art back from Marvel courtesy of Adams.

“Adams also worked tirelessly to promote better working conditions and, radically at the time, creators’ rights, especially for their work. He early on recognized the value of creators and was a thorn in the side of publishers, demanding compensation for himself and others when their characters were adapted off the page.”The Hollywood Reporter

A New Yorker from birth (June 15, 1941), Adams went to the School of Industrial Art in Manhattan before working on Archie comics and eventually DC Comics and Marvel.

A hero both on and off the page, Adams is survived by his wife of 45 years and sons, Josh Adams, Jason Adams and Joel and daughters Kris and Zeea, along with grandchildren Kelly, Kortney, Jade, Sebastian, Jane and Jaelyn; and great-grandson Maximus. Our condolences go out to the entire Adams’ family.

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