It’s with something of a heavy heart that we have to report today that prolific comic book and animation creator Dwayne McDuffie has passed away. There are currently no details on the cause of death but they are believed to be linked to complications from recent surgery.
McDuffie is known in comics circles for founding Milestone Media, a company founded to promote African American creators and characters. During his time with Milestone he created many memorable characters, the most famous of which was Static, who went on to feature in several big DC series and the popular animated show, Static Shock!
For me and many others though, McDuffie will be remembered for his work on the Justice League and Justice League Unlimited tv shows. As story editor, he excelled at bringing minor characters to the forefront and creating a series that appealed to both hardcore comics fans and causal views all at once. The work that McDuffie did with black and female characters especially on that show contains a whole book of lessons that many in the comics industry could learn from. I was watching JLU while writing Moon and I feel that our own hero owes a lot to the characters and stories that McDuffie helped to shape. If our humble detective can be a fraction as compelling as McDuffie’s Hawkgirl or John Stewart then I will be a happy man.
In a sad twist, McDuffie passes away on the same day that his latest animated feature “All Star Superman” (a reworking of the Grant Morrison series) is released in the US. The show is already pulling in rave reviews and looks to be the man’s best work in an already distinguished career.
Rest in Peace Dwayne, you were one of the greats.