He has some of the most highly sought after and collectible comic book work in the market today.
Because of his undying love of his craft, Green Arrow and Green Lantern would never have risen to prominence in the comic world.
He is responsible for the creation of Ra’s al Ghul, Man Bat and the Green Lantern known as John Stewart.
He is Neal Adams.
Born in 1941, Neal Adams has a long history in comics.
His initial attempt to break into comics saw him look to DC Comics. Unfortunately for him, at the time DC was not interested in bringing him on board. Rejected, he turned his attention over to Archie Comics. His work at Archie would bring him some renown and this would lead him to try his luck at DC once again. This time, he did not face rejection but rather was offered the job as their premier cover artist.
At the time, Marvel and DC were picking artists and writers from each other like tomatoes from a vine. His work at DC caught the eye of Marvel and he began to work for them. His first task at Marvel was to work alongside Roy Thomas on the if you can believe it, fledgling X-Men title. Even with his capabilities, the title could not be saved from its doom. Although it ultimately failed, Adams’ work is considered some of the best X-Men work of the era.
Eventually, Neal Adams would gain recognition within the industry and this attracted the attention of DC.
During this time he would be paired with eventual longtime collaborator, Dennis O’Neil on the Green Arrow and Green Lantern Titles. The two heroes were on the verge of cancellation and it was up to Adams and O’Neil to fix it. Adams and O’Neil immediately go to work creating a two-part anti-drug storyline entitled “Snowbirds Don’t Fly”. Within the confines of the story, the two heroes spend their time fighting a drug lord. During the battles, they learn that Green Arrow’s sidekick, Speedy is a heroine addict. The issues explore the fallout of this revelation as well as Speedy becoming ‘clean’.
This storyline won the 1971 Shazaam award for “Best Individual Story” as well as a letter to DC commending them on their work from then New York Mayor, John Lindsay.
In the early 1970’s Adams would turn his attention to motion pictures. Along with Dick Giordano, he created Continuity Associates. For the most part, Continuity Associates supplied storyboards to the movie industry but it is responsible for the creation of cartoon characters such as Bucky O’Hare, Skeleton Warriors, and CyberRad.
After the conclusion of the early 1970’s, Adams would, for the most part, refrain from doing interior work on comics. Instead, he focused on what would become his specialty, Cover Art.
The 1970’s also brought change to the comic book industry and Neal Adams was at the forefront of it. The artists were looking at the publishers and asking that their original work be returned to them so they could do what they wanted with it. Most notably, Adams was directly involved with Superman creators, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster receiving decades of overdue royalties as well as some much-required credit.
Adams has been awarded numerous awards throughout his career and in 1999 was inducted into the Harvey Awards’ Jack Kirby Hall of Fame.