Neal Adams, a heavy-weight of the comic book industry, has passed away, aged 80.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Adams died Thursday in New York due to complications from sepsis.
Adams will forever be remembered for championing the rights of comic book creators, fighting for benefits and ownership on behalf of writers and artists. He would famously come to the aid of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster when he learned of their plight in being recognized as Superman’s co-creators. He led a lobbying effort that saw DC pay them a perpetual pension as well as their names returned to the comic book pages with a creator tag that continues to this day.
DC Comics posted the following statement regarding Neal Adams…
“The modern comic landscape would not be what it is today without the incomparable work of Neal Adams. Neal portrayed heroes as both super and human in equal measure. His work on Batman, Green Lantern, and many more was revolutionary. DC joins the world in mourning his loss.”
In a lengthy post on Facebook, artist Jon Bogdanove wrote: “One of my greatest inspirations, and closer to my heart than almost anyone in this business, [Neal Adams] made this world a better place than he found it. I owe my home and retirement fund to this man, because he risked his livelihood to fight for artists’ rights. Without Neal Adams using his clout, I could never have achieved the financial stability and American Dream I cherish. I also wouldn’t be the artist I am without the lessons his artwork taught me.”
Marv Wolfman also shared his thoughts on Facebook, “Neal Adams, 80, died today and the world of comics has lost one of its greatest advocates. Neal’s art revolutionized how comics were illustrated but his commitment to creators’ rights and how creators should be treated revolutionized the entire industry.”
While Mark Waid wrote: “At age 9, Neal was the first artist I knew by name and my first favorite. I spent my professional life chasing the chance to someday work with him–and, a couple of years ago, I was fortunate enough, thanks to Fantastic Four editor Tom Brevoort, to have that opportunity. I was the last writer to ever work with Neal…and I really, really wish that weren’t the case. RIP, Neal.”
Adams created many Superman comic books over the years, but will forever be remembered for the historic 1978 “Superman vs. Muhammad Ali”.
Our condolences to his family and friends.