Daredevil, At Last—The Assassin! Issue #84, February 1, 1972, cover art by Gil Kane
Marvel, DC Comics
Comic book art and co-creator of Green Lantern and Atom
Gil Kane (born Eli Katz) was a Latvian-born American comic book artist whose innovative drawing technique brought new life and vibrancy to such classic superheroes as Spider-Man, Green Lantern, Captain Marvel, the Incredible Hulk and the Atom.
Kane moved to the U.S. with his parents when he was three years old. When he was a teenager, he took a job erasing pencil lines and drawing borders for the comic publisher MLJ. Kane worked for National Allied Publications (later DC Comics) Timely (later Marvel) Comics, and other publishers. He then enlisted in the army (1944–45) to serve in World War II. In 1954 the adoption of the Comics Code—a self-regulating measure designed to curtail the depictions of violence and sex that were prevalent in the horror, romance, and crime books of the day—almost spelled an end to the comics industry. Many publishers who wished to survive turned to the superheroes of comics’ “Golden Age.”
Kane drew new versions of the classic DC characters Green Lantern (1959) and the Atom (1961), Golden Age mainstays who were reimagined for the emerging Silver Age of comics. Kane’s work, which was marked by a subtle naturalism and economy of line that set him apart from other artists of his time, was a rich addition to the visual vocabulary of the comics medium. Along with Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and Carmine Infantino, Kane emerged as one of the most important influences of the early Silver Age. After his groundbreaking work at DC, he branched into a number of other projects, including the Flash Gordon newspaper strip for King Features Syndicate. In the 1970s Kane was a regular cover artist at Marvel, and his run as an artist on The Amazing Spider-Man included a story involving the murder of the title character’s love interest, Gwen Stacy.