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Posted at 10:32 AM ET, 02/24/2011

Dwayne McDuffie, comic book creator, dies at 49

By Lauren Wiseman

Dwayne McDuffie, 49, a comic book and television show writer, story editor, and producer, died Feb. 21 at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank of complications from emergency heart surgery, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Mr. McDuffie, who co-founded Milestone Media, created black superheroes for the comic book genre, including Hardwire and Static. He also wrote and produced the cartoon "Justice League Unlimited."

Among his many writing accomplishments, he wrote the screenplay for "All-Star Superman," an animated film that was released Tuesday by Warner Home Video.

Mr. McDuffie, raised in Detroit, Mich., had been aware of the lack of diversity in comic strips since he was a child. He formed his company in order to create more diversity in the genre.

The Detroit Free Press reported in 1996 that Mr. McDuffie also wanted to subtly teach important lessons and values through his characters.

"I try to put superheroes in situations where being strong, or being able to fly or fight aren't the answers," he said. "We've dealt with teen pregnancy, abortion, racism and anti-Semitism. Being able to hit somebody harder doesn't help you deal with that."

For a more detailed account of Dwayne McDuffie's career and life, check out the Post's Comic Riffs blog.

You can watch an episode of "Justice League Unlimited" below.

By Lauren Wiseman  | February 24, 2011; 10:32 AM ET
Categories:  Lauren Wiseman  
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Comments

I've seen his work. It's a sad day for all comic book fans. He did a great job bringing diversity to the comic book world. Kids need to have a hero and even better when the superhero looks just like them. I wish him a speedy journey home!

Posted by: Desertdiva1 | February 24, 2011 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Mr. McDuffie not only created Superheroes, he was one. He gave my children something to look at in terms of comics that gave them a representation of themselves as African American Superheroes in the same way that other could see themselves... My family loves to watch Static Shock and other animated series that had characters of color in positive roles... His work allowed us to be a part of what might be along with other kids... His genius will be missed.

Posted by: May_Twin_Boy | February 24, 2011 1:30 PM | Report abuse

This post consistently misspells his name. It's McDuffie, not McDuffle. Show some respect and get it right.

Posted by: tblogg | February 24, 2011 2:07 PM | Report abuse

including Hardware and Static....wrong its Hardwire.


But I agree with the other poster about Static Shock. I love animation, manga to american and when Static Shock came out my draw dropped. Love it!

Posted by: nall92 | February 24, 2011 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I'm an adult, with no children, who loves 'Static Shock' and don't normally like cartoons. I had no idea who it's creator was. He was very talented.

Condolences to his family.

Posted by: rlj1 | February 24, 2011 2:41 PM | Report abuse

This was the headline I was referring to:
News Columns and Blogs
Post Mortem: Black comic book creator dies

Posted by: rexreddy | February 24, 2011 3:50 PM | Report abuse

My condolences to Mr. McDuffie's family. I've seen Static Shock, Ben 10, and Justice League, and I'm sure I've enjoyed other works of his without realizing that he was behind them.

In a related sidenote (and one meant to promote meaningful discussion as opposed to other comments in the WP), I've been reading about Mr. McDuffie's death since Tuesday. I realize he has done a lot for minorities in comic books and took Marvel Comics to task about its use of black skateboarding superheroes. I appreciate it. However, I found it jarring that the WP posted this news on its homepage as "Black comic book creator dies". Sure, other sites (usually comic-related) might have a picture or drawing of him, but none I recall explicitly mentions his race.

Under the assumption that none of us knows what Mr. McDuffie thoughts are/were, do you think he would want to be recognized as a comic book creator or as a black comic book creator? (I'm assuming "black" refers to the "creator" and not "comic book".)

I feel that his contributions to comic books and animation are greater than the average creator. He is one of a few comic book writers that also ventured and succeeded in the television landscape.

And although I've only read a few of his comic books, I thought he generally did a great job giving any character a voice, whether they are white, black, gay, or alien.

Anyway, I hope this doesn't become a mass of vitrolic half-sentences.

Posted by: DwightKnight | February 24, 2011 4:19 PM | Report abuse

That's funny; I started my previous post before I saw rexreddy's!

Posted by: DwightKnight | February 24, 2011 4:22 PM | Report abuse

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