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One of the best parts of a convention is the opportunity to meet with a comic book creator. In this case, at the Comikaze Expo, I was able to speak with Neal Adams. Adams is an artist and creator whose influence is greatly felt in the comic book industry. His run on Batman is collected in Batman: Illustrated and his Green Lantern work was printed in the Green Lantern/Green Arrow as well as other trade paperbacks. In 2009, the DC Universe Illustrated by Neal Adams Vol. 1 was published. The X-Men Visionaries had a volume featuring the Neal Adams Collection. Finally, The Art of Neal Adams was released in 2010. The question was posed about Neal Adams’ comic book work and the current comic book films, “Everything I’ve done has appeared one way or another on film. You’ve got Green Arrow who is part of a tv show. You’ve got Batman, you’ve got X-Men, you’ve got Avengers. You know all we have left is Deadman. As far as I know, Deadman and maybe Spectre. So pretty much I better come up with some new stuff because they are using it all up.”

Adams went on to explain the current trend in comic book based films, “I’m not saying that other people didn’t make contributions to all of these things. Obviously they did. In fact, the trough that everyone has fed at is our work; my work, Denny O’Neil’s work, and Roy Thomas’ work to do all the new stuff. That’s how they start out when they launch the movie. The truth of the matter is that when they try to go elsewhere I can say like the Green Lantern movie, they’re stepping on really hairy ground. They could have lost hundreds of millions of dollars because they didn’t follow Denny O’Neil’s and my stuff. I’m not saying it as a super criticism, but as a logic statement.”

Neal Adams then went on to discuss where certain films went right and wrong, “The guys who did the last three Bat[man films] followed our work. They were going to do a Green Lantern [movie] and they went from Gil Kane to Geoff Johns, both of which are brilliant [works], but they left the heart of Green Lantern out by skipping Denny and myself. They also left John Stewart out. The black Green Lantern who every kid in America and around the world knows is Green Lantern. They left him out of the movie. It doesn’t make any sense. If all the kids in America and around the world know that John Stewart is Green Lantern, then you have to have some kind of excuse not to have him in the first movie.”

Adams talked about his current projects and also the criticism leveled against his mini-series, Batman Odyssey, which ran in 2010 for six issues and the second part that concluded this year with seven issues. Personally, I feel that any work by Neal Adams is a gift and it is always great to see his artwork, but Adams speaks for himself, “What I’m doing now is I’ve jumped back in time. What I’m trying to do now is future movies by doing comics. Usually they are a little bit unexpected because when they are used to doing new stuff, usually it’s new, and then everybody goes, `Why are you doing that? It’s not like the last thing you were doing.’ Because it’s new. When you have Batman Odyssey and everybody goes, `Oh, I don’t understand that story.’ No, it’s a thirteen part book, it’s new, you have to pay attention to it from that point of view. Will it be the next Batman movie? I would say in two movies, probably, because it’s really great stuff.”

Neal Adams finished by discussing his current projects including the five issue limited series, First X-Men, the first issue was released in October of this year, “Now I’m doing First X-Men for Marvel. It’s the X-Men before the X-Men, I’m adding pre-history to the X-Men. Is that a good subject for a movie? I bet it is. This is the X-Men before the X-Men where Wolverine is the leader, and all of the X-Men that you see are all new, different characters from a previous generation that we don’t know yet. The other thing I’m doing is a thing called Blood for Dark Horse [Dark Horse Presents] which is another kind of movie. So I what I’m doing is trying to build the future and I’m trying to do things that are new enough so that you that when you first look at it you go, `I’m not used to that.’ That’s a condition of new.”

– Kyle