Carmine Michael Infantino (/ˌɪnfənˈtiːnoʊ/; May 24, 1925 – April 4, 2013) was an American comics artist and editor, primarily for DC Comics, during the late 1950s and early 1960s period known as the Silver Age of Comic Books. Among his character creations are the Silver Age version of DC super-speedster the Flash, with writer Robert Kanigher; the stretching Elongated Man, with John Broome, and Christopher Chance, the second iteration of the Human Target, with Len Wein.
He was inducted into comics' Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame in 2000.
Infantino in October 2010
|Born||May 24, 1925|
Brooklyn, New York City, New York U.S.
|Died||April 4, 2013 (aged 87)|
Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S.
|Area(s)||Penciller, Editor, Publisher|
|Detective Comics, Flash,|
Showcase, Star Wars
|Awards||National Cartoonists Society Award, various Alley Awards. Expanded list.|
Carmine Infantino was born via midwife in his family's apartment in Brooklyn, New York City. His father, Pasquale "Patrick" Infantino, born in New York City, was originally a musician who played saxophone, clarinet, and violin, and had a band with composer Harry Warren. During the Great Depression he turned to a career as a licensed plumber. Carmine Infantino's mother, Angela Rosa DellaBadia, emigrated from Calitri, a hill town northeast of Naples, Italy.
Infantino attended Public Schools 75 and 85 in Brooklyn before going on to the School of Industrial Art (later renamed the High School of Art and Design) in Manhattan. During his freshman year of high school, Infantino began working for Harry "A" Chesler, whose studio was one of a handful of comic-book "packagers" who created complete comics for publishers looking to enter the emerging field in the 1930s–1940s Golden Age of Comic Books. As Infantino recalled:
I used to go around as a youngster into companies, go in and try to meet people — nothing ever happened. One day I went to this place on 23rd Street, this old broken-down warehouse, and I met Harry Chesler. Now, I was told he was a mean guy and he used people and he took artists. But he was very sweet to me. He said, 'Look, kid. You come up here, I'll give you a dollar a day, just study art, learn, and grow.' That was damn nice of him, I thought. He did that for me for a whole summer.
With Frank Giacoia penciling, Infantino inked the feature "Jack Frost" in USA Comics #3 (cover-dated Jan. 1942), from Timely Comics, the forerunner of Marvel Comics. He wrote in his autobiography that
...Frank Giacoia and I were in constant contact. One day in '40 we decided to go up to Timely Comics ... to see if we could get some work. They gave us a script called 'Jack Frost' and that story became our first published work. Frank did the pencils and I did the inking. Joe Simon was the editor and he offered us both a staff job. Frank quit school and took the job. I wanted desperately to quit school and I told my father that it was a great opportunity. He said, 'No way! You're gonna finish school.' Things were very bad, he was desperate for money, but he wouldn't let me quit school. He said, 'School comes first. If you're that good, the job will be there later.' I can't love the man enough for that. So Frank took the job and I didn't. I was 15 or 16 and I just kept making my rounds in the early '40s, looking for freelance work while continuing my studies.
Infantino would eventually work for several publishers during the decade, drawing Human Torch and Angel stories for Timely; Airboy and Heap stories for Hillman Periodicals; working for packager Jack Binder, who supplied Fawcett Comics; briefly at Holyoke Publishing; then landing at DC Comics. Infantino's first published work for DC was "The Black Canary", a six-page Johnny Thunder story in Flash Comics #86 (Aug. 1947) that introduced the superheroine the Black Canary. Infantino's long association with the Flash mythos began with "The Secret City" a story in All-Flash #31 (Oct.-Nov. 1947). He additionally became a regular artist of the Golden Age Green Lantern and the Justice Society of America.
During the 1950s, Infantino freelanced for Joe Simon and Jack Kirby's company, Prize Comics, drawing the series Charlie Chan. Back at DC, during a lull in the popularity of superheroes, Infantino drew Westerns, mysteries, science fiction comics.
In 1956, DC editor Julius Schwartz assigned writer Robert Kanigher and artist Infantino to the company's first attempt at reviving superheroes: an updated version of the Flash that would appear in issue #4 (Oct. 1956) of the try-out series Showcase. Infantino designed the now-classic red uniform with yellow detail (reminiscent of the original Fawcett Captain Marvel), striving to keep the costume as streamlined as possible, and he drew on his design abilities to create a new visual language to depict the Flash's speed, using both vertical and horizontal motion lines to make the figure a red and yellow blur. The eventual success of the new, science-fiction-oriented Flash heralded the wholesale return of superheroes, and the beginning of what fans and historians call the Silver Age of comics.
Infantino drew "Flash of Two Worlds," a landmark story published in The Flash #123 (Sept. 1961) that introduced Earth-Two, and more generally the concept of the multiverse, to DC Comics. Infantino continued to work for Schwartz in his other features and titles, most notably "Adam Strange" in Mystery in Space, succeeding the character's initial artist, Mike Sekowsky. In 1964, Schwartz was made responsible for reviving the faded Batman titles. Writer John Broome and artist Infantino jettisoned the sillier aspects that had crept into the series (such as Ace the Bathound, and Bat-Mite) and gave the "New Look" Batman and Robin a more detective-oriented direction and sleeker draftsmanship that proved a hit combination.
Other features and characters Infantino drew at DC include "The Space Museum", and Elongated Man. With Gardner Fox, Infantino co-created the Blockbuster in Detective Comics #345 (Nov. 1965) and Barbara Gordon as a new version of Batgirl in Detective Comics #359 (Jan. 1967). Writer Arnold Drake and Infantino created the supernatural superhero Deadman in Strange Adventures #205 (Oct. 1967). This story included the first known depiction of narcotics in a story approved by the Comics Code Authority.
In late 1966/early 1967, Infantino was tasked by Irwin Donenfeld with designing covers for the entire DC line. Stan Lee learned this and approached Infantino with a $22,000 offer to move to Marvel. Publisher Jack Liebowitz confirmed that DC could not match the offer, but could promote Infantino to the position of art director. Initially reluctant, Infantino accepted what Liebowitz posed as a challenge, and stayed with DC. When DC was sold to Kinney National Company, Infantino was promoted to editorial director. He started by hiring new talent, and promoting artists to editorial positions. He hired Dick Giordano away from Charlton Comics, and made artists Joe Orlando, Joe Kubert and Mike Sekowsky editors. New talents such as artist Neal Adams and writer Denny O'Neil were brought into the company. Several of DC's older characters were revamped by O'Neil including Wonder Woman; Batman; Green Lantern and Green Arrow; and Superman.
In 1970, Infantino signed on Marvel Comics' star artist and storytelling collaborator Jack Kirby to a DC Comics contract. Beginning with Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen, Kirby created his Fourth World saga that wove through that existing title and three new series he created. After the "Fourth World" titles were canceled, Kirby created several other series for DC including OMAC, Kamandi, The Demon, and, together with former partner Joe Simon for one last time, a new incarnation of the Sandman before returning to freelancing for Marvel in 1975.
Infantino was made DC's publisher in early 1971, during a time of declining circulation for the company's comics, and he attempted a number of changes. In an effort to increase revenue, he raised the cover price of DC's comics from 15 to 25 cents, simultaneously raising the page-count by adding reprints and new backup features. Marvel met the price increase, then dropped back to 20 cents; DC stayed at 25 cents for about a year, a decision that ultimately proved bad for overall sales.
Infantino and writer Len Wein co-created the "Human Target" feature in Action Comics #419 (December 1972). The character was adapted into a short-lived ABC television series starring Rick Springfield which debuted in July 1992.
After consulting with screenwriter Mario Puzo on the plots of both Superman: The Movie and Superman II, Infantino collaborated with Marvel on the historic company-crossover publication Superman vs. the Amazing Spider-Man. In January 1976, Warner Communications replaced Infantino with magazine publisher Jenette Kahn, a person new to the comics field. Infantino returned to drawing freelance.
Infantino later drew for a number of titles for Warren Publishing and Marvel, including the latter's Star Wars, Spider-Woman, and Nova. His brief collaboration with Jim Shooter saw the introduction of Paladin in Daredevil #150 (Jan. 1978). During Infantino's tenure on the Star Wars series, it was one of the industry's top selling titles. In 1981, he returned to DC Comics and co-created a revival of the "Dial H for Hero" feature with writer Marv Wolfman in a special insert in Legion of Super-Heroes #272 (February 1981). He and writer Cary Bates crafted a Batman backup story for Detective Comics #500 (March 1981). Infantino returned to The Flash title with issue #296 (April 1981) and drew the series until its cancellation with issue #350 (October 1985). He drew The Flash #300 (Aug. 1981), which was in the Dollar Comics format, and was one of the artists on the double-sized Justice League of America #200 (March 1982), his chapter featuring both the Flash and the Elongated Man, characters he had co-created.
He was one of the contributors to the DC Challenge limited series in 1986. Other projects in the 1980s included penciling The Daring New Adventures of Supergirl, a Red Tornado miniseries, and a comic book tie-in to the television series V. In 1990, he followed Marshall Rogers as artist of the Batman newspaper comic strip and drew the strip until its cancellation the following year. During the 1990s Infantino also taught at the School of Visual Arts before retiring. Despite his retirement, Infantino made appearances at comic conventions in the early 21st century.
In 2004, he sued DC for rights to characters he alleged to have created while he was a freelancer for the company. These include several Flash characters including Wally West, Iris West, Captain Cold, Captain Boomerang, Mirror Master, and Gorilla Grodd, as well as the Elongated Man and Batgirl. The lawsuit was dismissed in September of that same year.
Artist Nick Cardy commented on the popular but apocryphal anecdote, told by Julius Schwartz, about Infantino firing Cardy over not following a cover layout, only to rehire him moments later when Schwartz praised the errant cover art:
[A]t one of the conventions ... I said, 'You know, Carmine, Julie Schwartz wrote something in [his autobiography] that I don't remember at all and it doesn't sound like you at all'. And I told him the incident ... and he said, 'That's crazy. You know I always loved your work. Gee, you were one of the best artists in the business. The guy's crazy'. So I said, 'Okay, come on'. We went over to Julie Schwartz's table and we told him what our problem was. And Carmine and I said, 'We don't remember the incident'. So Julie said, 'Well, it's a good story, anyway'. [laughs] And that was it. He let it go at that. [laughs] He just made it up.
Infantino wrote or contributed to two books about his life and career: The Amazing World of Carmine Infantino (Vanguard Productions, ISBN 1-887591-12-5), and Carmine Infantino: Penciler, Publisher, Provocateur (Tomorrows Publishing, ISBN 1-60549-025-3).
Infantino was the uncle of Massachusetts musician Jim Infantino, of the band Jim's Big Ego. He contributed the cover art to the group's 2003 album They're Everywhere, which features a song about the Flash called "The Ballad of Barry Allen."
Infantino died on April 4, 2013, at the age of 87 at his home in Manhattan.
In season three of The CW TV show "The Flash", episode 22 is titled "Infantino Street".
Infantino's awards include:
Debuting as a supporting character in a six-page Johnny Thunder feature written by Robert Kanigher and penciled by Carmine Infantino, Dinah Drake [the Black Canary] was originally presented as a villain...The Black Canary's introduction in August 's Flash Comics #86 represented [Infantino's] first published work for DC.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
Gardner Fox and penciller Carmine Infantino introduced the villain Blockbuster in this issue.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
One comic that I know preceded the 1971 amendment [to the Comics Code] was Strange Adventures #205, the first appearance of Deadman! ... a clear reference to narcotics, over three years before Marvel Comics would have to go without the Comics Code to do an issue about drugs.
Marvel took advantage of this moment to surpass DC in title production for the first time since 1957, and in sales for the first time ever.
My name was supposed to be on the script. I was supposed to be on the film, and then when they dumped me they took my name off the thing. You can't fight that, but I did a lot of work on that. An awful lot...I worked on Superman I and II and saved both plots. They're pretty good, I think.
[The series' creative team] locked into place beginning with issue 11, when Archie Goodwin and Carmine Infantino took over.
Writer Marv Wolfman and penciling legend Carmine Infantino reintroduced fans to Spider-Woman in this new series all about the female wall-crawler.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
The industry's top seller? We don't have complete information from our Circulation Scavenger Hunt for the years 1979 and 1980, but a very strong case is building for Star Wars as the industry's top-selling comic book in 1979 and its second-place seller (behind Amazing Spider-Man) in 1980.
Shortly after the 1989 feature [film], Batman even returned to the funny pages for a bit, in a comic strip by writer William Messner-Loebs...Lacking enough support from various papers to make it financially feasible, the new comic strip folded after two years, despite Carmine Infantino trying his hand at its art chores.
| The Flash artist
| Detective Comics artist
| Nova artist
| Spider-Woman artist
| Star Wars artist
| The Flash artist
Bartholomew "Bat" Aloysius Lash is a fictional Western character in the DC Universe. A self-professed pacifist, self-professed ladies' man, and gambler, Bat Lash's adventures have been published by DC Comics since 1968.Big Sir (comics)
Big Sir is a fictional DC Comics character. He first appeared in The Flash #338 (October 1984).
Big Sir made his live appearance on the fourth season of The Flash played by Bill Goldberg. This version has no powers and is an ally to Barry Allen while he is in prison.Black Canary
Black Canary is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Created by the writer-artist team of Robert Kanigher and Carmine Infantino, the character debuted in Flash Comics #86 (August 1947). One of DC's earliest super-heroines, Black Canary has appeared in many of the company's flagship team-up titles including Justice Society of America and Justice League of America. Since the late 1960s, the character has been paired with archer superhero Green Arrow, professionally and romantically.
At her Golden Age debut, Black Canary was the alter ego of Dinah Drake and participated in crime-fighting adventures with her love interest (and eventual husband), Gotham City detective Larry Lance. Initially, the character was a hand-to-hand fighter without superpowers who often posed as a criminal to infiltrate criminal gangs. Later stories depicted her as a world-class martial artist with a superpower: the "canary cry", a high-powered sonic scream which could shatter objects and incapacitate and even kill powerful foes such as Superman. When DC Comics adjusted its continuity, Black Canary was established as two separate entities: mother and daughter, Dinah Drake-Lance and Dinah Laurel Lance. Stories since the Silver Age have focused on the younger Black Canary, ascribing her superhuman abilities to a genetic mutation.
Black Canary has been adapted into various media, including direct-to-video animated films, video games, and both live-action and animated television series, featuring as a main or recurring character in the shows Birds of Prey, Justice League Unlimited, Smallville, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Young Justice and Arrow. In Birds of Prey she was played by Rachel Skarsten, and in Smallville she was played by Alaina Huffman. In Arrow and the Arrowverse shows the characters Dinah Laurel Lance and Dinah Drake are portrayed by Katie Cassidy and Juliana Harkavy. The character will also make her cinematic debut in the upcoming film Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), portrayed by Jurnee Smollett-Bell.Cluemaster
The Cluemaster is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics, commonly as an adversary of the superhero Batman. Cluemaster first appeared in Detective Comics #351 (May 1966) and was created by Gardner Fox and Carmine Infantino.
A failed game show host, the character became a criminal who leaves clues to his crimes, but unlike the Riddler's clues, they are not in the form of riddles.Gorilla City
Gorilla City is a city appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The city, hidden in the jungles of Africa, is home to a race of super-intelligent gorillas, that gained their powers from a meteorite. The supervillain Gorilla Grodd is also from the city. Gorilla City first appears in The Flash vol. 1 #106, (April 1959) and was created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino.I.Q. (comics)
I.Q. (real name: Ira Quimby) is a fictional supervillain in comic books published by DC Comics. He first appeared in Mystery in Space #87 (November, 1963), and was created by Gardner Fox and Carmine Infantino. I.Q. has most often appeared an enemy of Hawkman, and was most recently seen in 52.Kid Flash
Kid Flash is the name of several fictional characters appearing in comic books published by DC Comics, originally created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino, as a junior counterpart to DC Comics superhero The Flash. The first version of the character, Wally West, debuted in The Flash (vol. 1) #110 (1959). The character, along with others like the first Wonder Girl, Aqualad, and Speedy, was created in response to the success of Batman's young sidekick Robin. These young heroes would later be spun off into their own superhero team, the Teen Titans. As Kid Flash, Wally West made regular appearances in Flash related comic books and other DC Comics publications from 1959 through the mid-1980s until the character was reinvented as the new version of The Flash.
Later, well after Wally West had made a name for himself as the new Flash, the character of Bart Allen, grandson of the second Flash Barry Allen, was brought into the past from his home in the future and served as the young hero Impulse. In 2003, with writer Geoff Johns' relaunch of a new Young justice volume, Bart donned the mantle of Kid Flash after being nearly killed by the assassin Deathstroke. As Kid Flash, Bart appeared in Teen Titans and The Flash (vol. 2) regularly until the Infinite Crisis event, where a disappearance of Wally West made Bart the fourth Flash. Apparently killed by the Rogues, Bart was resurrected in the 31st century by Legion of Super-Heroes member Brainiac 5 and retook the mantle of Kid Flash. Following a 2011 reboot, DC introduced a new interpretation of Wally West as its latest Kid Flash in 2014, later established as being the original Wally's younger cousin named Wallace West.King Faraday
King Faraday is a fictional secret agent featured in DC Comics. Faraday first appeared in Danger Trail #1 (July 1950), and was created by Robert Kanigher and Carmine Infantino.Knights of the Galaxy
Knights of the Galaxy was a short-lived science fiction series published by DC Comics. They first appear in Mystery in Space #1, (April–May 1951), and starred in the first eight issues of the series. They were created by Robert Kanigher and Carmine Infantino.Larry Lance
Larry Lance is a DC Comics character, a detective associated with the various incarnations of the superheroine Black Canary. His first appearance was in Flash Comics #92 (February 1948), created by Carmine Infantino and Robert Kanigher. When the Black Canary was reimagined in the mid-1980s as two characters—a mother and daughter—Larry became the husband to the elder Black Canary and father to the younger superheroine. Paul Blackthorne portrays a version of the character, named Quentin Lance, in the television series Arrow.
Following DC's The New 52 reboot in 2011, Larry Lance was re-established as Kurt Lance, and is now the husband of the Dinah Drake version of Black Canary, having met when they worked together as members of Team 7.
A version of Larry Lance renamed Quentin Larry Lance appeared as a main character on The CW show Arrow and a recurring character on the other Arrowverse shows played by Paul Blackthorne.Needle (comics)
The Needle is a fictional character, a mutant supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by Mark Gruenwald, Carmine Infantino, and Al Gordon, the character first appeared in Spider-Woman #9 (December 1978).Outsider (comics)
Outsider is the name of three different characters in DC Comics.Pow Wow Smith
Ohiyesa "Pow Wow" Smith is a fictional Western hero published by DC Comics. Created by writer Don Cameron and penciler Carmine Infantino, he is a Sioux who is the sheriff of the small Western town of Elkhorn, where he is known as a master detective. He prefers to be addressed by his proper name, Ohiyesa, but the white citizenry take to calling him "Pow Wow" so stubbornly that he eventually gives up and accepts the nickname among them.
Originally, the Pow Wow Smith character was located in the modern West. Later stories were set in the 19th century. It was eventually retconned that the Old West character was the ancestor of the modern-day character. Since then, Smith has remained a generation legacy, and a historical figure in the DC Universe, meeting other heroes in their occasional time travel stories.Reactron
Reactron is a fictional supervillain who appears in comic books published by DC Comics, usually as an adversary of Supergirl.Squid (DC Comics)
The Squid is the name of two different villains in DC Comics.Steeplejack (Marvel Comics)
Steeplejack is the name of three fictional characters appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.Sue Dibny
Susan "Sue" Dearbon Dibny is a fictional character from DC Comics associated with the Elongated Man. Created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino, the character first appeared in Flash vol. 1 #119 (March, 1961). In 2004, she became a flashpoint for discussions of women in comics when a highly controversial storyline was published (set in the post-Zero Hour continuity) in which she is murdered and revealed to have been raped in the past.Super-Chief
Super-Chief is the name of several fictional characters, including three superheroes and one supervillain, in the DC Comics universe. Created by Gardner Fox and Carmine Infantino, the first Super-Chief debuted in All-Star Western #117 (March 1961). The second (villainous) Super-Chief debuted in Adventures of Superman Annual #9 (1997) in a story by Mike W. Barr (writer) and Dale Eaglesham (artist). The third Super-Chief debuted in 52 Week 22 (October 2006), which was written by the writers' consortium of Geoff Johns, Greg Rucka, Grant Morrison and Mark Waid, and artist Eddy Barrows. The fourth debuted in Superman #709, (May 2011), and was created by writer Chris Roberson and artist Eddy Barrows.Trigger Twins
The Trigger Twins are the names of two sets of fictional Western themed comic book characters published by DC Comics.