Batman Legend, Denny O’Neil, Passes Aged 81

by Oliver MacNamee
Luigi Novi/Wikimedia Commons

With a writer and an editor, Dennis J. “Denny” O’Neil, has passed away at the age of 81 at his home of natural causes on the night of June 11.

Denny O’Neil will be possibly be best remembered for his groundbreaking writing on Green Lantern/Green Arrow and, of course, Batman, which included writing Batman, Detective Comics, and Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, as well as editing DC’s Batman titles from 1986 to 2000. Along with editor Julius Schwartz, and artist Neal Adams, they are collectively credited for guiding the Dark Knight back to his darker roots after a period of campiness brought on by the success of the 1960s Batman TV series.

During his time on Batman, he created/co-created Ra’s al Ghul, Talia al Ghul, Leslie Thompkins, Azrael, and Richard Dragon; he was also involved in the revitalization of the Joker and Two-Face as modern DC villains, and oversaw the death of Jason Todd, the second Robin.

Born in St. Louis, Missouri on May 3, 1939, O’Neil graduated from St. Louis University at the start of the 60s with a degree in English literature, creative writing, and philosophy, before going the Navy at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis. After a stint as a journalist, he wound up at Marvel before moving onto DC Comics, returning to Marvel and then back to DC Comics again, giving him the opportunity as a writer to write some for the industry’s most iconic characters such as Spider-Man, Iron Man, The Question, and the Dark Knight. He even has a strip in last week’s The Joker 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular, a rare treat from one of the industry’s giants. Another egged why will be sorely missed.

RIP Dennis J O’Neill (May 3, 1939 – June 11, 2020)

 

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