Superman #204

Superman #204, February 1968

The first cover of Superman’s own title to be drawn by Neal Adams. Fabulous, isn’t it? Simple, yet effective. At this time most DC covers were laid out by Carmine Infantino, who was DC’s editorial director. This, however, doesn’t really look like anything Infantino would draw, so probably shows Adams going his own way.

Arriving at DC in 1967, Neal Adams had had a career as a newspaper strip artist. His illustrative approach, honed on the Ben Casey strip, was something new for comics. Indeed, he was one of the first brand new artists to enter the industry for twenty years or so. For the most part the artists drawing comics in 1967 were the same guys who’d been drawing them back in 1947. Drawing comic books was very much seen as the bottom of the artistic totem pole, and no one wanted in. Adams, Jim Steranko and Barry Smith opened the floodgates and ushered in a whole new era of comics storytelling.

Superman family editor Mort Weisinger was not keen on using the ‘unproven’ new guy as a cover artist on his titles, and it was only Adams offering him a ‘take it, or leave it’ deal that secured Adams the regular gig he later enjoyed.

©2008 DC Comics