Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dwayne McDuffie, 1962-2011

Yesterday afternoon, the sad news was released that Dwayne McDuffie had died at the age of 49 due to complications from surgery. I assumed that when I started this blog that there would be opportunities to eulagize different creators who had come and gone over the years and made a difference to the Superman legend. What I had not assumed, is that the first occasion would be for someone who died way too soon.

While Dwayne only ever wrote one story for the Superman line of titles, he was a major player when it came to the Justice League of America. As an editor and producer of the cartoon series Justice League Unlimited, he more than cemented his place in not only Superman history, but that of the entire DCU.

For me however, my fondness for Dwayne McDuffie goes back to 1992 with the creation of the Milestone line of comics. It seemed that every other time you went to the comic book store in the 90's, there was a new line of comic book superheroes being created. Like most of them, the speculation boom wasn't kind to Milestone and it didn't make it out of the decade alive. Unlike most of the others, however, Milestone tried something different with an eye towards racial and cultural diversity. For that, it left the 90's with it's reputation in good standing.

Fast forward more than a decade and Dwayne was writing Justice League of America with the promise of the Milestone characters being integrated into the DCU proper. To say that there was some editorial over-reaching that hampered his stories and resulted in unfulfilled expectations is a bit of an understatement. With that in mind, here's today's panel in honor of Dwayne McDuffie.

Rest in peace, Dwayne McDuffie.

Gone, but not forgotten.

Script by Dwayne McDuffie
Pencils by Jose Luis
Inks by J.P. Mayer
Colors by Pete Pantazis
Letters by Travis Lanham

Justice League of America (Vol. 2) #28
Welcome to Sundown Town, Chapter 2: Shadow and Act
February 2009
Copyright (c) DC Comics

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