Geek Culture, Technology

Neal Adams and NFTs: From Batman to blockchain

Best known for creating the modern-day Batman when he revitalized the Caped Crusader during the Silver Age of comics, legendary comic book artist Neal Adams is now venturing into the world of blockchain. Image credit: Vorto Gaming
Image credit: Vorto Gaming

Best known for creating the modern-day Batman when he revitalized the Caped Crusader during the Silver Age of comics, legendary comic book artist Neal Adams is now venturing into the world of blockchain.

The Eisner Award Hall of Famer has partnered with Sweden-based blockchain gaming company Vorto Gaming AB on an exclusive comic book and non-fungible token (NFT) collection. Adams will compose a bespoke comic book around Vorto Gaming’s maiden title, Hash Rush, which is to be released on the Vorto Network — Vorto Gaming’s free-to-play gaming platform and digital economy — later this year. Those interested in the assets will be required to sign up for the Hash Rush play test phase, which is now accepting registrants. The comic book will be available for purchase through a limited number of NFTs.

How Neal Adams reinvented Batman

Batman punching Ra's al Ghul original art by Neal Adams. Image credit: Neal Adams official Facebook page
Batman punching Ra’s al Ghul original art by Neal Adams. Image credit: Neal Adams official Facebook page

“Gaming is without doubt the most innovative entertainment industry of the past decade and is shaping so many different aspects of our culture. We’re moving into a period in history where we are spending as much time exploring digital, imaginary worlds as we are living in this one. Comic books were always a transportation tool — taking us to another place, to experience another story, even just for a moment. Hash Rush is no different and I’m looking forward to sharing this story with the world,” said Adams in a press statement.

Thanks to the 1966-1968 “Batman” TV series, most of the public knew Batman as a comedy character, and this campy look and feel also made its way to the comic books. Adams, however, collaborated with the late comic book writer Dennis O’Neil to revitalize Batman and reestablish his dark and brooding nature under the direction of editor Julius Schwartz. The three of them would co-create one of the greatest Batman villains, Ra’s al Ghul, who first appeared in Batman #232’s “Daughter of the Demon” in June 1971.

Comic book fans also know that Adams is a creator rights advocate who helped helped secure a pension and recognition for Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.

Adams also played a major role in shaping the stories and visuals for a number of DC Comics and Marvel characters, including Superman, Green Lantern, and the X-Men.

Comic books and gaming

“Throughout the 60s and 70s, Neal helped revolutionize the comic book industry in the same way we are looking to innovate the gaming industry. This partnership is a signal of our intent as a gaming organization to make amazing content, assets, and NFTs available for the wider gaming community — a key objective of Vorto Gaming and our mission to create a more democratic culture and environment for gamers all over the world. Neal is a true trailblazer and to partner with someone of his experience and reputation is an inspiration,” said Vorto Gaming CEO Kris Vaivods.

Set in the Hermeian galaxy, the comic will feature new and existing Hash Rush characters, with a storyline plotted by Adams. He will work alongside Sweden-based ComicFirst Entertainment and their artist Mikael Bergkvist, for whom Adams has been a longtime mentor.

“Neal has been one of the most influential figures in the entertainment industry for three generations — from comic book pages to Hollywood movies. I have admired his work as a fan for many years, and I’m now fortunate to be able to learn from him as my colleague and mentor. I’m excited for what we can deliver with Hash Rush and hopefully we can create another piece of entertainment history,” Bergkvist said.

So, are you looking forward to getting your hands on the Neal Adams comic book and NFT collection?