Carmine Infantino, one of comic books' artistic greats, died last week. He co-created Batgirl, the second version of the Flash, Black Canary and many more. Fans, friends and professionals shared their thoughts on his influence in the days that followed.
“Carmine was a legend,” Jim Lee, DC Entertainment co-publisher said at DCComics.com. “The number of classic covers he created are innumerable. His influence, reach and impact is humbling and will always live on.”
Infantino began drawing comics in the early 1940s. Throughout that decade he drew characters including Airboy, The Heap, Johnny Thunder and the Golden Age Flash.
In 1956, Infantino designed the sleek red-and-yellow costume of the Silver Age Flash, Barry Allen. The creation and success of this character sparked the Silver Age of American Comics. Without Infantino's striking, modern Flash bringing superhero sales from the brink for DC Comics, its unlikely Stan Lee and Marvel Comics would have ever had the chance to thrive starting in the 1960s.
Infantino was the artist for “Adam Strange” and launched the “New Look” Batman in the mid-1960s. During his Batman tenure, he co-created the Barbara Gordon “Batgirl.” His work on the New Look Batman is often credited with saving the Batman character.
“It seriously saved the character from cancellation,” wrote Oklahoma's Tommy Brookshire of Bat-blog.com, a popular blog focused on the Batman character. “Yes, we might not have Batman if it was not for him.”
Infantino was art director, then publisher for DC Comics. His covers were instantly memorable. His cover for “Superman” No. 199 featured the Flash in a race with Superman, something that surely had been on the mind of many a young comic-book fan. It's one of my favorite covers, and the comic was a prized possession. A large mockup of it now sits in the window of the comic shop that I own. Its appeal remains timeless; young readers often come in asking who would win in a Superman-Flash race.
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