Monday, November 15, 2004

Harry Lampert, R.I.P.

The name may not be familiar, unless you are really fanatical about comics, and DC Comics in particular.

Harry Lampert was the man who, as a comics artist, created the initial look of DC's fourth important superhero after Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman -- The Flash.

Of course he wasn't the Flash everyone nowadays is familiar with--Lampert was inspired by the traditional image of Mercury, Messenger of the Gods, when he came up with the look for Jay Garrick's transformation into a superhero. It wasn't until the 1950s and the creation of Barry Allen by Gardner Fox and Carmine Infantino that the Flash everyone knows came into being.

Still, that doesn't diminish Lampert's contribution. Jay Garrick is currently being used as an "elder statesman" role by DC Comics creators. It's an important way of honoring the legacy of the Golden Age of comic books.

Lampert died November 13th in Louisiana at the age of 88. But his legacy will live as long as people believe in The Fastest Man Alive.