Batman No. 251 Cover by Neal Adams

February 22, 2022|In Comics, DC

Neal Adams had arrived in comics in the mid 1960s, bringing art skills and techniques that had been honed in commercial art. Making his biggest impact at DC Comics, he’s still associated with Batman and Green Lantern decades after he was active as those books’ penciller.

In 1973, Batman No. 251 landed. Working with frequent collaborator writer Denny O’Neil, “The Joker’s Five-Way Revenge” reintroduced the Clown Prince of Crime as a homicidal maniac, a depiction that is still at the villain’s core.

It was also nearly the last issue of Batman Adams would draw. Adams found himself in conflict with DC management over creators’ rights and his lobbying for fair treatment of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the creators of Superman. Transitioning away from monthly comics, he teamed up with fellow artist Dick Giordano to form Continuity Associates, a commercial art agency built around comic book artists creating storyboards and illustration.

Thankfully for comics readers, when Warner Entertainment bought DC Comics and installed Jenette Kahn as the new publisher, Adams found himself welcome again at the company he’d helped transition from the Silver Age to the Bronze, though he’d never again commit to the output level of the late 60s/early 70s.

New colour by myself.

Batman 251 published by DC Comics

As published.

Batman 251 cover art by Neal Adams

Original art scan from Heritage Auctions. It’s fortunate that the cover blurb fell off at some point.

Comic book production art by Scott Dutton

Art made production ready.

Comic book colouring by Scott Dutton

New colour.

Comic book packaging by Scott Dutton

Re-created trade dress added.