“Batman, WE Are the Greatest!”

Neal Adams helps bridge the gap between Batman fans…

UPDATED 6/15/17: I first posted this a few months ago when I turned 50. But it takes on new meaning this week: Not only has Adam West died at the age of 88, but Neal Adams turns 76 today. It just seemed appropriate to revisit.

You can also check out ADAM WEST: A Celebration, a series of interviews and tributes: Click here.

I’m 50 today.

But that’s not exactly what this column is about. I mention that because it’s context.

See, my family wanted to know what I wanted for my 50th birthday and I was kind of stumped. I knew I wanted something special and personal. And I knew I wanted something to do with Batman. Because, y’know, obviously.

And I considered a lot of things but nothing seemed right. I didn’t want to have something fancy for the sake of it.

At the time, I was writing about Superman vs. Muhammad Ali because Neal Adams was doing the art for a satirical sequel and had put up pages at the gallery in his Manhattan studio. (Click here for a look. You’ll dig it.)

Now, I’ve long said that it was Adam West who got me into Batman and that Neal Adams was the one who hard-wired me for comics. I’m not the fan and writer I am today without either one of them.

And it’s funny to me that even after decades have passed there are still people who can’t reconcile both versions — the lighter, funnier one who gave us kids such a sense of wonder and adventure and the darker, moodier one who speaks to our drive and determination. Hell, even I rejected the Adam West version for years in my teens and 20s before I came full circle. But I don’t understand anyone who still harbors that anti-West resentment. There’s room for all.

So when I started thinking about my 50th, I wanted something that celebrated both.

And then it hit me — and it was a bona fide epiphany: What if I could commission Neal Adams to do a piece with his Batman shaking hands with Adam West, just as Ali and Superman shook on it at the end of their epic adventure.

And he did it.

So here it is, a piece I call Batman, WE Are the Greatest!:

So a big thank you to Neal Adams, his daughter Kris Adams Stone — and of course my wife Wendy and son Sam for making this the perfect birthday.

Dig it, Batfans.

For ADAM WEST: A Celebration, a series of interviews and tributes, click here.

Author: Dan Greenfield

Share This Post On

11 Comments

  1. That is simply fantastic! Happy Birthday, Dan!

    Post a Reply
  2. Oh man, you dropped the mic on this one. Mind blown. Happy birthday, and thank you so much for sharing. So let’s start it right here and now, Neal has go to do an issue of Batman ’66!

    Post a Reply
  3. Dan,
    Happy birthday (!), and thanks for your terrific work on Dimension 13. The Adams commission is magnificent both in concept and in execution. Neal Adams is a national treasure (a cliche, but true nonetheless), and I appreciate the way you often highlight his work (both past and present).

    Post a Reply
  4. What a delicious gift ! Hardest working fan deserves it.

    Post a Reply
  5. Too cool! Really dig that. I like his attention to detail.

    Welcome to 50. Happy Birthday. I turned 50 in July.

    Post a Reply
  6. It’s a great picture! Batman has always been my number one from my early beginnings. Back in the 60s some friends of my parents met Adam West on a plane flight and he signed an autograph on a Batman TV series post card that I still have. In any incarnation Batman is the undeniable super hero.

    Post a Reply
  7. Absolutely lovely! Happy Birthday, Dan!!!! Those two incarnations of Batman are key in my life as well so that Neal Adams art says it all.

    Enjoy your 50s. I’ve just got one more year left in that decade, myself.

    Post a Reply
  8. That’s a perfect picture for a 50th birthday present! I’m a little jealous.

    As another byproduct of 1966, I can say your feelings about the show and the comics of the day echoed mine. I watched the show religiously and read every comic with Batman in it I could find, especially if it was illustrated by Adams. My appreciation waned in those teen years but bounced back when put into a more mature perspective. (Nostalgia is a powerful drug.)

    This line has me feeling like a 5-year-old again.

    Post a Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 13 COVERS: A Marvelous NEAL ADAMS Birthday Celebration | 13th Dimension, Comics, Creators, Culture - […] So here we go. As always, if you don’t see your fave, don’t fret — just add it in…

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: