Carmine Infantino, the Man Who Saved Batman, dies at 87

Sophia Ritchie ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Writer

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Carmine Infantino, famed comic book artist of the Silver Age of comics, died at his home on April 4.  He was 87.

Infantino was one of DC Comics most treasured artists and editors from the 40s to the late 70s, working as a penciller, character designer, art editor, and publisher for the company.  He was regarded as an artist who best understood the motion of superheroes, allowing him to create almost 3D covers that drew the eye of readers everywhere.

In a statement released by DC, he was hailed and revered for his influence on comic book art and the superhero genre.

“There are few people in this world that have had as much of an impact on the industry as Carmine,” Dan DiDio, DC Entertainment Co-Publisher, said.  “He bridged both the Golden and Silver Ages of comics, shepherding in some of the most successful periods in our history and setting the course of our characters that is still seen today.”

Infantino was born on May 24, 1925 in Brooklyn.  His love of art appeared early, and flourished at the School of Industrial Art, a high school in Manhattan that is open today as the High School of Art and Design.

He did freelance illustration for several years before working on his first DC comic in 1947, introducing Dinah Lance as “The Black Canary” in her first self-titled series.

It wasn’t until 1956, when Infantino was asked to revive and revamp the character of The Flash, that we would begin to hold the illustrator so dear.  The 50s was a tumultuous time for comic books; with their semi-violent content, comics were in danger of falling apart.  With Infantino’s sleek, red redesign of the famous speedster, a character that had been out of print for seven years was back in action and on the better end of the comics revolution.

In 1964, Infantino pulled off another miracle by redesigning Batman and saving the series from early cancellation, inspiring the popular 1966 TV show in the process.  He was also credited for convincing acclaimed artist/writer Jack Kirby to jump ship from Marvel comics to DC, an act so important that it changed the dynamic of the industry from 1970 on.

While he leaves no immediate survivors, Infantino’s legacy stands true as one of the most powerful in comics.

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