Classic comic book characters often have different artists that get associated with them. The artist who designed them in the first place, those who redesigned them in their most popular years, those who’ve done their stories during the hottest runs. Carmine Infantino was one of those great artists, taking the golden age character the Flash and redesigning him, creating the costume that’s still the basis for the character’s look today and, frankly, is one of the greatest comic book costumes of all time. Infantino also became an editor at DC Comics, then later still, publisher of the company from 1971 to 1975. He kept working throughout this period, co-creating the Human Target with Len Wein and doing work for the legendary first meeting of Superman and Spider-Man. He kept working in later decades for DC, Marvel, Warren Publishing and other publishers, drawing newspaper strips, and teaching at the School of Visual Arts. In a poll by the Comics Buyers’ Guide, he was ranked one of the greatest comic book artists of all time. Like all greats, he had to leave us some time.
To me, Infantino is one of those artists whose work is firmly, inextricably linked to a specific character… Curt Swan’s Superman, Neal Adams’s Batman or John Romita Sr.’s Spider-Man, for example. I still think of those as the definitive, archetypical versions of those characters, the one that all other artists should use as their template. Every artist who’s ever picked up a pencil to draw the Flash owes a debt to Infantino. May he rest in peace.