For those of us who regularly frequent the world of comics, the death of Neal Adams was one of the most heartbreaking pieces of news from last week. Adams wasn't just a master penciler, but he was a staunch advocate of creator's rights long before artists like Todd MacFarlane and Rob Liefeld turned their stance on the issue into a publishing company.
Prior to Adams, It was "bad form" for artists to freely solicit their services to both Marvel and DC simultaneously. With his- at the time- hyper-realistic style, Adams was one of the most in-demand creators in the field, which helped provide him leverage to shatter the taboo of bouncing between companies.
Adams wasn't just content to reinvigorate the industry; he helped reinvention an array of characters. Copious fans like to retrospectively laud Frank Miller for Batman's reinvention as a more serious character, but it was Neal Adam's distinctive take on the caped crusader that was one of the character's first departures from a sillier tone and presentation.
Outside of his influential stint on the dark knight, Adams also helped Superman's creators, Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster, finally earn credit and compensation for their iconic character. If that doesn't prove how much of a real-life superhero Neal Adams was, I don't know what will.
I could honestly spend all day writing about how monumental Adam's contribution was to comics, but I won't. Instead, I'm going to implore you to pick up one of his comics and experience his talent for yourself.