Legendary Comic Book Artist Neal Adams Dies At 80

Adams was renowned for his work at both DC and Marvel.

Neal Adams Green Lantern Green Arrow DC Comics

Neal Adams, who reinvigorated the world of comics with his work on titles such as Batman, X-Men and Green Lantern/Green Arrow, has passed away at the age of 80.

Neal Adams brought a darker, edgier new energy to comics in the late 1960s and the 1970s, with his work for both Marvel and DC. He would later start his own company, Continuity Studios, through which he would launch new indie comics.

Adams was renowned mostly for his work on Batman, which saw him move the character away from the campy comedy trappings made popular by the 1960s TV series and back into a darker tone. While working on Batman stories, Adams would create new villains such as Man-Bat and Ra’s al Ghul, who remain fan favorites to this day. His grittier, more maniacal take on the Joker would lay the groundwork for stories such as the revered The Killing Joke and most modern interpretations of the character.

Neal Adams was also behind Green Lantern/Green Arrow, a series which proved controversial for its open and honest approach to social issues, such as racism, the class divide and drug addiction. The series has become one of DC’s most renowned and a defining chapter for both its titular heroes. Continuing his work with the Green Lantern, Adams would introduce a new iteration of the character – Jon Stewart, one of DC’s first Black heroes.

In addition to his pioneering work in creating comics, Neal Adams was an inspiring advocate for better working conditions and for comic creators’ rights for their creations. Typically in the comic book industry, creators would sacrifice all claim to characters they created for companies such as Marvel or DC. Adams made valiant efforts to help comic creators unionize and tried to secure creators compensation when their characters and stories were adapted elsewhere.

Neal Adams is survived by his wife Marilyn Adams; his children Josh, Jason, Joel, Kris and Zea; his grandchildren Kelly, Kortney, Jade, Sebastian, Jane and Jaelyn; and his great-grandson Maximus.

Source: THR