Writer Dwayne McDuffie Has Died

We have to report some incredibly saddening news.

CBR reports that comic and animation writer Dwayne McDuffie has died. Circumstances surrounding McDuffie's death are unspecified at this time.

McDuffie is most closely associated with Milestone Media, a brand he created with Denys Cowan, Michael Davis and Derek T. Dingl. He scripted for both Marvel and DC comics including notable runs on Fantastic Four and JLA. He has also been a driving force in Bruce Timm's stable of DC animation writers and producers. His adaptation of All-Star Superman was released just today.

Update: CBR is reporting that Dwayne McDuffie died due to complications from a surgery performed Monday night.

Thoughts from Conor Kilpatrick:

This is incredibly sad news made even more sad because when word started to get out that Dwayne McDuffe had passed i was literally 2/3 of the way through watching All-Star Superman, the animated adaptation written by McDuffie. It made the rest of the viewing experience rather depressing.

I have two specific memories of Dwayne McDuffie. Neither of which are ground breaking or earth shattering, but they are the first two things that came to mind when I heard about his death and they both made me smile.

I had one conversation with Dwayne McDuffie. It was at one of Isotope's legendary Wonder Con parties, but I don't remember which one. If I had to hazard a guess I'd say it was the Justice League: The New Frontier release party from a few years ago, because it would make sense that McDuffie would be there. But who knows? I remember it was late at the party and I was leaning against the counter when suddenly I found myself standing next to Dwayne McDuffie. He was a mountain of a man. I actually had to crane my neck up to talk to him, and if you've ever met me you know that means that McDuffie was a giant. I remember being preoccupied the entire time by his size. This guy is huge! He wasn't just tall he, he was massively shouldered and chested. I have no memory whatsoever as to what we talked about. it was just one of those conversations you have at a party when you find yourself standing next to someone else. I feel like we talked about either a comic on display or one he was holding. We didn't even introduce ourselves.

The last time I saw Dwayne McDuffie was at the Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths screening last year at The Paley Center in New York. He wrote that one as well. I took my customary seat on the aisle in the roped off press section. The row in front of us was reserved for the cast and crew of the film. As James Woods and the rest of the special guests made their way up to the seats I saw Dwayne McDuffie bringing up the rear. Oh no, I thought. My fears were realized when he ended up in the seat right in front of mine and he even though the seats at The Paley Center are steeply angled, I still had to bob and weave around McDuffie's head to catch some of the action at the bottom of the screen. Great, I'm sitting behind McDuffie. I remember thinking that not with malice but with a chuckle.

Thoughts from Jason Wood:

My first reaction today was much like Conor's, the bitter irony of Dwayne losing his life on a day when his latest professional achievement was reaching his audience. But that quickly was overtaken by a genuine sadness and a realization that we've lost a fantastic creator far too soon. Dwayne was a young, vibrant and engaging voice in an industry that can ill afford to lose people of his stature. I know a lot of people are going to focus on all that he did to bring diversity to the medium — which is true — but let's not sell his story-telling abilities short. Diversity was just one of the many arrows in his writing quiver.

Above all else, I'm personally saddened that I never got the chance to shake the man's hand and thank him for all the ways his works entertained and engaged me over the years. I have no one to blame but myself for that, as I'm sure I've been to a number of conventions he's been in attendance. The next time you're debating whether or not to approach that creator you love at a convention, and convince yourself that there will always be "another time", remember that sometimes "another time" never comes to pass.

Thoughts from John Siuntres:

What a loss. His legacy will live on in his works. I had the pleasure of having Dwayne on Word Balloon in January of 2006, and spoke to him at subsequent San Diego Comic-Cons. While we're all stunned by his passing I hope you can enjoy his good natured humor in this talk, and remember the good times.


  1. I was terribly saddened to hear the news, as I was always a fan of his. RIP.

  2. RIP

  3. I am truly sorry to hear this.

    I have huge respect for his comic work and especially for his contribution to animation.

    His Justice League work is THE standard for quality character deveolpment and writing in animation.

  4. RIP

  5. Man thats awful. RIP.

  6. RIP I didn’t read much of his work but I loved his animation work. Is it wrong that the first thing I did after hearing the news was buy one of his books?

  7. Watching this unfold over Twitter. This is truly sad. McDuffie was a writer that I thought was smarter and better than many, and someone who I felt still had a huge hit ahead of him. I mean, his work in animation was fantastic, but I also thought he did some great work in comics, particularly with the formation of Milestone, but also managing to squeeze some good stuff out of series like JLofA, where he was CLEARLY saddled with some horrible editorial-mandated crap. Even his FF run, which was during the time where Black Panther and Storm joined the team, was some really smart, fun stuff that didn’t get enough credit.

    Damn. This is really depressing.

  8. Oh man, this is terrible. His work on JLU was wonderful. 

    RIP, Dwayne. 

  9. A very nice guy and great creator. This is a huge loss. He left us way too soon.

  10. Wha wha WHATTTTT?!?!?! This is not only incredibly sad, but shocking as well. He will be missed dearly.

  11. :(((

  12. How sad.  He left us with an incredible body of work to remember him by.

  13. I literally just took the plastic off my All Star Superman Blu Ray. What a bummer this is. RIP. 🙁

  14. Seeing McDuffie’s name on the credits of the Justice League cartoons always made me feel good. It affirmed that the show was “authentic” and that it was overseen by someone who knew and understood what DC Comics meant to its readers and fans.

    I’m sad that he’s gone and that I’ll never get to say “thank you”.

  15. This is really sad. I loved many of McDuffie’s works in comics and in animation. I am particularly fond of his early 90s Deathlok series. It was one of the books that really got me into reading comics.

  16. That…was totally unexpected.  I only really knew him through his animated work and we all know how successful JLU was.  My deepest sympathies and prayers for his family during this time.

  17. Damn. Milestone was one of the coolest things i remember from when i really got into comics on a monthly basis. he will be missed

  18. Sad. Glad I had the chance to hear him speak at a screening of one of his animated films. Such a smart, creative guy who really fought for minorities in comics.

  19. Thoughts to his family and friends. Very sad news.

  20. Dang. 🙁

  21. Holy shit dude, not only is this timing crazy since the release of All Star Superman and he was doing all sorts of interviews, but I just watched the Secret Origin The Story of DC Comics where he spoke extensively there

  22. I haven’t even ordered my All Star Superman bluray yet….. This one hurts

    He was still young. I remember him posting on Facebook like Thursday or Friday


  23. Losing an artist of his caliber is a tremendous loss.

  24. Had not seen his name on something for a while and just watched All Star Superman and saw his name, now this comes out of nowhere.


  25. I am very sad to hear this.  RIP…

  26. What a terrible loss.  

  27. shocking and sad news… RIP

  28. Very, very sad and shocked to hear about this.  RIP

  29. Bummer, I loved his FF run and the Justice League cartoons.

  30. Truly saddening. As a black kid, Static and Static Shock was really huge for me towards my love for all things superheroes. Truly saddening……

  31. R.I.P

  32. The first podcast I ever listened to was John Siuntres’  interview with Dwayne McDuffie back in ’07, which in turn led me to seek out other comics podcasts, and that brought me to iFanboy.  He was a fantastic writer and seemed like a really great person.  His work on the Justice League cartoons was amazing and I wish he was still with us.

  33. @Smasher  That’s the truth – whenever I saw “Dwayne McDuffie” in the credits of these, I would remark to myself “And that’s why this was so good.” What a tragic loss for the comic/animation world, and those close to him. RIP

  34. This is completely terrible news. Not only was he a great writer, but he was a great mind as well. I really enjoyed reading essays by him and interviews with him. McDuffie will definitely be missed.

  35. This is really sad. RIP Dwayne.

  36. I was thinking something very similar to what Wood said. Always take that chance to meet someone you admire if you get the chance, because it may never come again.

    RIP Dwayne. 

  37. My thoughts mirror Jason’s. I’m not sure if we’ve ever been in the same convention hall over the past couple years, but I wish I’d been able to shake the man’s hand. His animation work will always be special to me. 

  38. How sad. I will always be indebt to the man for providing me with hours of entertainment.  Always really like his parts on the commentary on DVDs.  Horrible.

  39. Oh man. That’s horrible news.

  40. Here was a man who understood story structure and character development like no one else. JL/JLU and Static Shock were two of my favorite cartoons as a kid, even today I can still enjoy watching them. Rest in peace Dwayne, you will be missed.

  41. It was a gut punch seeing that headline. Really dug his work. Very sad.

  42. Terrible news. His work in animation is a good chunk of my DVD/blu-ray collection. A fine writer. He will be missed.

  43. I am so saddened by Mr. McDuffie’s passing.  He was a true trailblazer for minority creators being one of the founders of the Milestone line.  He was just a brilliant man as evidenced by his work in the DC animated universe. This is truly a tragic loss.

  44. It’s truly sad to hear the news I remember meeting him at The Motor City Comic Con in 2009 he was one of the kindest and gentlemanly Comic Book writers there was. I thanked him for his work and I told him I loved his JLAJLU run and his Justice League Of America was awesome. May he rest in peace.

  45. very sad indeed. A great loss to the industry. 

  46. Oh wow, that’s just horribly sad news.Nice guy, that did great work and was well respected by all.  It’s a shame to lose such a young guy.  RIP Dwayne, your work will live on with us.

  47. Couldn’t happen to a less deserving person. The industry is worser off without him.

  48. Jesus. This is horrible to hear.

  49. WOW! Very sad news. Best to his family and friends.

    While I was never a giant fan of his comics stuff, when he did get a hit, it was usually a homerun. His FF stuff – coming as it did between JMS and Millar – was easily better than either of those runs. And don’t forget Beyond, a great little story from Marvel. And his JL/JLU stuff were great episodes.

    A wonderful talent and from all accounts, a kind and plesant person. Sorry to hear of his passing.

  50. It’ll be a little wierd watching All Star tonight. A very sad day.

  51. So sad, I just watch all star superman, and I was thinking what a great job he did adapting the comic.


  52. sorry to hear that

  53. That’s horrible. What a loss.

  54. AFAIK, I’ve only experienced his work through DC Animated – but in that alone, what an amazing legacy he’s left behind.  He may be gone from us in body, but through his work he shall be immortal.  Requiescat in pace.

  55. I have almost a full run if milestone comics and mcduffie’s influence is all over them. Quality story telling. He leaves a great legacy. My sympathies to his loved ones on whatnmust be an unbearable loss.

  56. This man basically co-wrote my childhood. RIP

  57. @wordballoon  Thank you for posting that link, John. I didn’t know that you had done a show with him and look forward to listening to it, although it might make me sad now.

  58. Wow! This is shockingly sad!  I just popped on to see what the site had on All Star Superman.  I don’t get my copy from amazon today cuz of a weather delay.  Now I can’t wait to see his final work.  Prayers go out to his family.  Very sad, he seemed like a really great guy in any interview I ever saw.

  59. I loved his animation work, I look forward to seeing his last one. This is a sad day indeed and my thoughts go out to his family and friends.

  60. Because Milestone deserves its own post: The whole advent of Milestone is really, well, a Milestone. It saddens me to think that in future generations, it’ll just be thought of as a part of DC because it really was its own company, and while I didn’t think all the series always got it right, the very fact that it existed, and the fact that it looked at super-hero comics through a different lens, was and is hugely important to me.

    ICON, which McDuffie wrote, remains one of my favorite variations on the Superman archetype. Seek it out!

  61. The industry is poorer for this loss.  What an incredible creator. Thoughts and prayers to his family, friends, and colleagues. 

  62. Very sad news 🙁

  63. @daccampo  ICON is without a doubt my favorite variation on a superman type story. It’s just amazing from all standpoints and it actually holds up pretty well and doesn’t feel dated like a lot of comics from that era

  64. A profound loss. He gave these characters dignity and had the courage to treat them as real people before a popular audience. His voice will be missed. 

  65. @daccampo  True. ICON was my favorite Milestone title. McDuffie really nailed that series.

  66. Just terrible. I first remember him as one of the Milestone founder guys. I’lll be watching All-Star Superman with a heavy heart.

  67. So sad.  May he rest in peace.  

  68. Jason very good point. I’ve got Mega-Con coming up in March in Orlando and this makes me rethink the……..”I’ll meet him next con” sad news, RIP

  69. Damn shame. Getting ready to sit down and watch All Star Supermann tonight too. Thank you Dwayne, your contributions won’t be forgotten.

  70. Wow. Had to re-read the headline three times before it sunk in. A shock, and a great loss.

  71. This is completely unexpected. I remember meeting him last year on Free Comic Book Day and he was very nice. I got a picture and he signed my Blu Ray of Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths. Really sad to hear this.

  72. I was lucky enough to meet Dwayne McDuffie when he came to Cleveland for a convention when I was 10. I had never read his comics but this was at the height of the Teen Titans cartoon and right before JLU was on TV.  I had to have spent at least an hour in front of his table asking him every question that an annoying ten year old could possibly think of.  The whole time he was really cool about it and kindly answered all of my questions
    Looking back on that day, two things stick out in my mind.  First, is how nice of a guy he was to me and the respect he showed his fans, no matter the age.  The second is the impression he left me with about life as a writer.  He really inspired me to get into writing even at that young age and seven years later, I haven’t stopped chasing that dream.

    Thanks Dwayne. RIP

  73. I wrote a rather long blog post to memorialize his life.  While I wasn’t the biggest fan of his comics, his work in animation is some of my absolute favorite to this day.

    Link to blog post in case anyone wants to read: http://crakkajamma.blogspot.com/2011/02/celebrating-life-and-work-of-dwayne.html 

  74. Too soon, too soon.  I read and loved Milestone back in the day and JLU was awesome.  Too damn soon.

  75. Sad panda 🙁

  76. My aunt died last night. With this news added on, I am really bummed out right now, R.I.P.

  77. Sad to hear. I enjoyed the hell out of his work.

  78. Condolences to his family.  I enjoyed his work on JLU.  That show is what got my niece interested in superheroes.

  79. This is very sad news. Not only will his friends and family mourn their loss, but the comic book industry has lost a fantastic talent. I really enjoyed his Fantastic Four run a few years back an Milestone were some terrific comics when they first launched. He will be missed greatly.

  80. ;_; I will forever love his work on Justice League. I shall celebrate his life soon by rewatching as much of it as I can in a single stretch.

  81. Oh man, the very first thing to spring to my mind was his image from the back of a Marvel comic in the Bullpen section. I found the image online. I’m not even sure what year this was from. For whatever reason this drawing always stuck with me.


    This is a very sad moment.

  82. Very, very sad news. A talented creator who will be missed by many.

  83. I’ve been a fan for a long time and have really loved his work in animation. He was an amazing talent no matter what he was working on.

  84. Coincidentally, my gf’s 8-yr old son was wearing his Ben-10 Alien Force t-shirt today when I got home from work.

    Talk about a career that had reach… 

  85. Sad loss. I will now go watch one of his DC movies in his honor.

  86. Just watched “All Star Superman”.  Out of the park, Dwayne McDuffie.  Thanks for all your work.

  87. My condolences goes to his family, friends and who ever had the opportunity of witnessing his creativity and passion for the medium of comics. You will be missed Dwayne. God bless you and thank you for sharing your gifts with the world.

  88. I can’t believe we lost him.

    Here is a man who worked hard, incredibly hard, to get where he was. A lot of stuff he wrote was great, but sometimes what he had to write was mandated heavily by editors and other staff. (His stint on JLA comes to mind) But he worked through it and even made a good name for himself doing TV work mostly doing the DC animated series. (Like Teen Titans, Static Shock, and Ben 10) I have yet to see All Star Superman but judging from the reviews he absolutely nailed it with his writing.

    He will definitely be missed. RIP 

  89. Really shocking, and sad news, I really enjoyed his work on FF and loved his work on the DC animated projects. My condolences to his family and friends. 

  90. I grew up listening to Ray Charles as a kid,  As a “frustrated” musician, Ray was the ‘once in a lifetime’ kind of performer you marveled at.  NO one can ‘turn” a song or “carry” a song like Ray.  I didn’t realize at the time he was alive that I was listening to “genius”. 

    I wonder if we truly, truly realize the talent the world lost Monday.  I got that “Ray” vibe during one of the episodes of the Justice League Unlimited run.  I can remember being stunned and motionless, quite bewildered for a few moments at the end of the show.   I thought to myself that this “cartoon” story quality was stonger and more captivating than many primetime shows.   I made it a point to look for the writer.   That writer was Dwayne McDuffie.

    This along with other writers’ works like “Identity Crisis” rekindled my return back to DC.   I’ve been an ongoing, monthly consumer /collector of DC since 2005.  Dwayne’s stories in movies, TV and comics is largely responsilbe for keeping me connected to the DC culture. 

    Dwayne – there are very few writers who can “carry” a story like you.  The world has lost a monumental talent.   RIP.  I will miss connecting to your stories, as only you can tell them.

  91. Always loved his worked; Became a fan when reading his work with Milestone Comics.  Definitely one of the great writers who just never seemed to get the spotlight attention he so deserved. His work on Justice League was entertaining and clever.
    Dwayne shall be greatly missed . . . 

  92. May he rest in peace.

  93. His Deathlok was one of the first comics I read when I was a kid. Truly sad news. My condolensces to his family.

  94. McDuffie was a huge part of some of my all time favorite cartoons and comics. Thanks Dwayne. I miss you already.

  95. It really sucks watching a story like this slide down lower on the site.  Not sure why…I guess because he was most likely younger than me and he passed away.  Serious real life stuff is more important than Locke & Key, etc… Just my thoughts…

  96. @MikefromGotham  We don’t disagree. 

  97. @PaulMontgomery It’s the nature of our news cycle nowadays.

  98. It is sad to see a man , with his talent get taken before his time . We will miss you Dwayne . Rest in Peace .

  99. Rest in peace, Mr. Mcduffie. You will be missed.

  100. Sad day.  Hope to see a full page memorial in a few of next months books.

  101. RIP
    Loved his work on the animated universe. 

  102. For the less than 80 minutes he had to use in All Star, Mcduffie nailed it. Easily in my top 3. Thank you sir. You, like Superman, continue to burn bright in the heart of the sun and in hearts of comicbook fans everywhere.

  103. My heart goes out to family, he truly will be missed.  I love what he brought to the table.

  104. He did my favorite run on the FF and I also got to see him at The Paley Center in Beverly Hills for Crisis on Two Earths. He was the man.