BATMAN #251: Dig This Animated-Style Homage to the NEAL ADAMS Classic

Batman: The Animated Series’ Dan Riba pays tribute to the 50-year-old landmark…

It’s not exactly news that I dig homage covers, whether they are official releases or commissions.

Well, groove to this piece by Dan Riba, the Emmy-winning director from shows such as Batman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, Justice League and many more:

The commission was done on a Batman #357 Facsimile Edition sketch cover, which includes the Bronze Age Bat-logo.

Oh, that is just dandy. This month, as we’ve written, is the 50th anniversary of the seminal Batman #251, by Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams, and it turns out that Riba has a nice story behind this piece, related to Adams himself.

But first, here are the two covers, side-by-side:

“The comic itself has tremendous meaning for me,” Riba told me. “It was a big deal when it came out. That one quote (the Joker) had about having ‘the divine gift men call madness’ really redefined the character for me after being used to years of the comic version and Cesar Romero.”

As it happens, Riba’s friend J.D. Correa had commissioned him to do a Joker illustration. Correa was, Riba explained, looking for a shot of the Clown Prince of Crime and something clicked in his mind.

“I thought of the comic when I was asked to do the cover and doodled that instead of a different pose,” he said.

Riba, who lives in the Los Angeles area, bumped into Nick Chavez, from the Adams family’s Crusty Bunkers comics shop in Burbank, at this year’s WonderCon. He mentioned the commission and said he was looking for a replacement for his original Batman #251 because he couldn’t find it.

Nick told him they had a Facsimile Edition at the shop, so Riba went to go pick it up — and Nick gave him one on the house. He also met Josh Adams, Neal’s son.


— BATMAN #251: DENNY O’NEIL and NEAL ADAMS on Bringing Back the JOKER. Click here.

— BATMAN #251: How Fans Reacted to the Return of THE JOKER. Click here.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. No matter the color scheme that’s still the best bat logo ever.

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  2. How would one put the autographed pumpkin into a plastic comicbook tomb? Neat article. Thanks

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