Ten Things You Should Know About Dwayne McDuffie
1. Dwayne was hugely prolific in animation; his credits include lead writer/story editor on numerous hit animated productions, including the Justice League Unlimited series, Static Shock, Ben 10, and most recently the All-Star Superman DVD. In the course of that work, he was responsible for establishing John Stewart, the first black Green Lantern, as THE Green Lantern in the minds of countless fans, through the Justice League animated series.
2. He co-founded Milestone Media, the first comic book line dedicated to reflecting the diversity of American life, which employed top talent including Christopher Priest, Denys Cowan, John Paul Leon, ChrisCross, M.D. Bright, Chris Sotomayor, Jimmy Palmiotti, Jamal Igle, Tommy Lee Edwards, J. H. Williams III, and Humberto Ramos. As part of this line, Dwayne co-created the the teenage hero Static, whom he brought to success on television as well.
3. He started in comics as a writer/editor for Marvel Comics, where he created Damage Control, a brilliant satire about a construction company that cleans up the messes superheroes make when they fight.
4. While at Marvel, he wrote a proposal parody called "Teenage Negro Ninja Thrashers" which highlighted both his own sharp wit, and some of the basic absurdities in how comics dealt with black characters.
5. He earned a graduate degree in Physics from the University of Michigan.
6. According to Marvel editor Tom Brevoort who started his own career working with Dwayne, Dwayne also did some writing for late night TV show host David Letterman.
7. Growing up, Dwayne was hugely influenced by Don McGregor's Black Panther stories, as detailed in this essay he wrote. At Marvel, he campaigned to have those stories collected, and when they finally were years later, he wrote the afterword.
8. After his ground-breaking success with the Justice League on television, he was brought on to write the Justice League for DC Comics (a run which ended in some editorial turbulence as chronicled here, here, and here).
9. He wrote the Fantastic Four from 2007 to 2008, which was a longtime dream gig for him.
10. Dwayne McDuffie passed away on Monday, February 21st, the day after his 49th birthday, due to complications from surgery, despite the fact that he was reported as being hale and hearty only days before. There are countless people who will miss him, from all walks of life. Just Google his name, read the reactions on his own message board, see our report on the news, or check out what's being said on Twitter to get a feel for the breadth of reaction to his passing.
An event Dwayne was scheduled to attend tonight for his friend Reggie Hudlin at Golden Apple Comics has been converted into an occasion to pay tribute to this comics giant. And thanks in large part to the efforts of his friend and fellow writer Mark Waid, there will be memorials for Dwayne at the Emerald City Comic Con and C2E2, and most certainly other upcoming conventions.
With this kind of outpouring of love, you don't have to have known the man to realize the effect he had on so many lives. But even so, his life and the accomplishments he left behind for us are still well worth getting to know, just for the pure enjoyment his work continues to bring. That's what's known as a lasting legacy.