Tuesday, February 22, 2011

RIP Dwayne McDuffie... the man who saved the DC Animated Universe.

Dwayne McDuffie died this morning of complications from a surgerical procedure performed last night. He was 49 years old. He was the writer and producer of All-Star Superman, which streets today. McDuffie is known for many things: creating Static Shock, forming Milestone Media in 1992, and various runs on various successful DC and Marvel comic books. But for me, McDuffie was the savior of the DC Animated Universe. His first official project in that capacity was writing the two-part episode of Justice League entitled 'The Brave and the Bold'. The Flash and Green Lantern vs. Gorilla Grodd caper stood out by being, quite frankly, the first season one episode of Justice League that was any good. The quippy writing, exciting and zippy action and genuinely engaging humor stood out in a sea of self-serious and overly bland and dull adventures that littered the mediocre first season. It wasn't the only good episode that year (the Justice Society epic 'Legends' was terrific as well), but it was indeed a diamond in the rough. By season two, Dwayne McDuffie was a producer and the show was indeed roaring back to life, and the rest of the five-year run was every bit as good as we expect from the people who gave us Batman: the Animated Series. Point being, if Bruce Timm and Eric Radomski created the DC Animated Universe and Paul Dini and Alan Burnett expanded and improved it, then it was Dwayne McDuffie who kept it infused it with fresh blood. He kept it alive when Paul Dini, Michael Reaves, Boyd Kirkland, and others went on to other pastures. Rest in peace Mr. McDuffie, I can think of no better tribute than the climactic roll call of a universe that you more-or-less saved.

Scott Mendelson

1 comment:

Razorgeist said...

Thats a damn shame.


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