When a book proudly carries a title like Legends of the DC Universe, the mind automatically jumps to more famous DC Comics superheroes such as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash and all of the other characters you can name off in a New York minute.
You might even think of personally memorable, or even culturally significant, DC Comics storylines that have been gushed over by readers through decades of comic book publishing.
Anyone here recall (or, at least, be familiar with) Showcase #4, first published in October, 1956 or the “Flash of Two Worlds” story from The Flash #123, published in September, 1961? Those issues, respectively, presented both the first Silver Age version of the Flash (Barry Allan) to the world – the version everyone knows today – and the infamous story that introduced readers to DC’s Earth-2 and what would eventually become the DC Multiverse! How many more great storylines and characters grew from that ominous beginning?
Who else here fondly remembers Strange Adventures #205 from October, 1967 – a personal favourite of mine, although I came to it much, much later, in the mid 1980’s courtesy of DC Comics reprint comics. That was the debut of the cult classic character called Deadman!
Of course, there are those touchstone moments when the entire comic book industry and their offerings to readers, irrevocably changed. Those moments could also be described as “legendary” in nature. In the late 1960’s and, specifically, the early 1970’s, acclaimed artists such as Dick Giordano, Joe Orlando and Joe Kubert were given more editorial control at DC Comics and new, popular, publications were released because of those sorts of decisions. High profile and prolific creator, Jack Kirby, famously crossed the aisle and left his long-standing and creatively fertile home of Marvel Comics for DC Comics where he invented his Fourth World series of interweaving works among many other celebrated creations.
These are all examples of what might fall under a title like Legends of the DC Universe. But all of them: the stories, the characters and the decisions this column has pointed out, have one thing in common; one man in common: Carmine Infantino.
Carmine Infantino, the legendary illustrator of these stories (and more), the legendary creator of these characters (and others), the editorial and then corporate hand that guided the greater voice of artists and writers during a legendary decades-long career! Infantino was certainly witness to, and responsible for, an extremely important few decades in the comic book industry: the advent of the Silver Age of comics and handover of that era to the Bronze Age.
Today’s release of the 408-page Legends of the DC Universe: Carmine Infantino H/C is a tribute to the artistic achievements of the man through his illustrative work along with a visual exploration of his lasting legacy on the comic book industry.
In Legends of the DC Universe: Carmine Infantino H/C you’ll find reprints of Infantino’s comic book work including the previously mentioned Showcase #4, The Flash #123 and Strange Adventures #205. You’ll also find The Flash #112 (first appearance of Elongated Man), Danger Trail #1-4, Flash Comics #86 (first appearance of Black Canary), DC Comics Presents #73, Detective Comics #327 and #332 and many, many others.
Across the superhero, western, science fiction and fantasy genres, Infantino’s naturalistic linework was a style that could suit any story, any character, for any time. His artistic influence and his editorial impact remain cemented in comic book history, reverberations that are still being heavily felt today.
Make the run to your local, better, comic book shop today and pick up the Legends of the DC Universe: Carmine Infantino H/C. Learn more about the artwork of legendary creator, Carmine Infantino, and the great comic books and character moments that make up the history of the pop culture medium that we all so love.