[Reseñas] Great Batman Authors: Neal Adams – Man or Bat? – BDS

original edition: Batman no. 255 USA, Detective Comics no. 402 and nos. 407-408 USA, Power Records PR-27 USA, Power Records PR-30 USA, Batman Illustrated by Neal Adams Omnibus USA (extras)
Departure date: May 2017
Screenplay: Frank Robbins, Len Wein, Neal Adams
He drew: neal adams
Format: Hardcover, 208 pages. In color.
Price: €20.50

As we could see in the volume published in March, neal adams has had a huge influence on the way Batman is viewed, redefining him and accentuating that mysterious and dark air that would later become the norm for any writer who wanted to write the character. But apart from those contributions along with other DC heroes Adams also collaborated on the character’s regular series in a brief handful of episodes of which ECC collects a few in “Great Batman Authors: Neal Adams – Man or Bat?”.

In these issues we witness the genesis of Man-Bat and his deep conflict between man and animal as well as a new fight against the Joker. With screenwriters like Frank Robbins, Len Wein or Neal Adams himself, we are dealing with classic stories from the silver age with the classic grandiloquence and overexposure of it, but they are also adventures that try to delve into the dilemmas it poses, albeit superficially.

Leaving aside the last two that are lighter and have nothing remarkable, Adams does not stand out as a screenwriter, those that correspond to “Detective Comics” take Batman into darker, more dramatic terrain that cannot be compared with what has been done in later years but that is still surprising for how effective they are. The Man-Bat drama or the mysterious haunted house that the bat must enter allow us to show a darker side that is atypical of the time, still heavily besieged by the censorship of the Comics Code Authority and an overly protective mentality with the little ones.

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On the other hand, the story of the werewolf, scripted by Len Wein, despite its linearity (something that none of them escapes) continues to flirt with the horror genre, which Man-Bat obviously represents, but through a horror that we already know very well thanks to the endless number of novels, movies and comics that have been dedicated to the myth of the lycanthrope, all seasoned with the classic detective mystery for our hero to solve.

As I mentioned a few paragraphs back the low note is played by the numbers scripted by Neal Adams for the collection “Power Records”. The confrontation with the Joker is nothing special but it is nice to see a duel innocent between these two before their relationship got personal and turned into a deadly race for Gotham or their own lives. Finally, the number that closes the volume, titled “Robin Meets Man-Bat” It gives us just that, neither more nor less since there is nothing remarkable.

Image from Detective Comics #402, by Frank Robbins and Neal AdamsBut that the volume has Neal Adams as its main name already makes it clear who is the undisputed protagonist of it. His contributions as a screenwriter are nothing to write home about but as a cartoonist things change, what can I say that hasn’t already been said about him? There is no greater adjective than Legend for this americanhis Batman is imposing, it even makes us take seriously the blue and gray suit, more associated with the version childish of the character, and his great ability to narrate allows him to take us into a world of supernatural terror in the third episode of the volume.

Not everything is perfect because it has the occasional compositional flaw in a very specific way but nothing excessively serious that is not seen in other great cartoonists. Special mention to the coloring, which is remastered, and makes the Adams pencils stand out even more, purists may not like it very much, but in my opinion it leaves a superior finish to the original (which you can see in the image on the left) .

As for the ECC edition, it could be said that it is not necessary to take into account only the comics as the material it contains, since a third part of the volume is made up of a large number of illustrations and covers of various issues of “Batman”, “Detective Comics”, “The Brave and the Bold” Y “World’s Finest”. At the end, two interesting texts written by Neal Adams and Dennis O’Neil are added on the occasion of the compilation that DC published in the United States in 2003.

“Great Batman Authors: Neal Adams – Man or Bat?” it is one more example of the great talent that Adams has in stories that began to change the way people saw the dark knight. Highly recommended for fans of Batman or the cartoonist.

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[Reseñas] Great Batman Authors: Neal Adams – Man or Bat? – BDS


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