Thursday, April 4, 2013

RIP Roger Ebert & Carmine Infantino

It was quite the day. In the movie world, we lost Roger Ebert at age 70 to cancer. Ebert was a long-time film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times and probably best known for being one half of one of the greatest movie review TV programs ever: At The Movies with partners Gene Siskel and Richard Roeper. RIP Mr. Ebert.

In comics we also lost legendary artist Carmine Infantino. Born in Brooklyn in 1925, Infantino's sizable opus included work on Detective Comics, Batman, Superman, The Avengers, Captain America, Star Wars and Spider-Woman. He was a member of the Comic Book Hall of Fame and considered by both fans and historians as one of the greatest pencillers of all time. 

The spash from DC's Showcase #4 (October 1956). Reprinted as a Silver Age Classic in 1992. All images from the Silver Age Classic reprint. Written by Robert Kanigher and John Broome with art by Joe Kubert & Carmine Infantino
Cop turned superhero Barry Allen
Modern comic book fans likely know Infantino best for his contribution to the resurgence of superheroes in the post-war period. This started in 1956 when DC's editor Julius Schwartz assigned Infantino and Joe Kubert to work with writers Robert Kanigher and John Broome to resuscitate that genre which had been reduced to a scattering of titles. They did so with the creation of Barry Allen as a new "Flash". In this story, Allen was a police officer of Central City who was turned into the "Fastest Man Alive" when a science experiment and bolt of lightening combined for some unexpected results. The Flash would go on to use his powers to fight crime and without the success of Showcase #4 we arguably wouldn't have the Flash becoming a founding member of the Justice League and that fateful golf game that led to Marvel's reposte, The Fantastic Four and an expanded Silver Age of comics. 

So in thanks to Carmine Infantino and his work in our medium, I thought I'd scatter this post with images from Showcase #4's including the splashes of both stories which featured Barry Allen as the Flash. RIP Mr. Infantino.

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