Tragic news today, as Comic Book Resources has learned that comic book creator Dwayne McDuffie, best known as co-creator of the DC Comics imprint Milestone Media, passed away unexpectedly due to complications during surgery Monday night. McDuffie was only in his early 50s at the time of his death.
When Milestone Comics was introduced in 1993, it was quite groundbreaking, as it introduced a wider diversity of superheroes of varying ethnic backgrounds, written and drawn mostly by African-American, Hispanic and Asian creators, giving a far better view of the real world than most comic books up until that point. While there, McDuffie wrote the long-running series "Static," a character brought over to his own animated series "Static Shock" in 2000. McDuffie spent most of the next ten years actively involved in the world of animation, mostly for the DCU animated shows "Justice League" and "Justice League Unlimited."
Dwayne McDuffie had just done a bunch of promotion for the video release of "All-Star Superman," and was still regularly updating his Twitter feed and website last week, so his death comes as a shock to everyone who knew him, as well as those who have followed his comic book work for decades. Many of McDuffie's Milestone Comics creations such as Static Shock had been returning to the DC Universe in recent years and he had been excited about Static Shock finally receiving his first action figure in Mattel's new "Justice League Unlimited" line. He also had a signing scheduled at Golden Apple Comics on Wednesday, February 23. We've been informed that, as a number of the other scheduled guests were close friends of Dwayne, the event will still be held and will now pay tribute to his incredible legacy.
This writer had a chance to meet McDuffie a number of times at comic conventions in the early days of Milestone. Though I didn't know him personally, I (and the rest of the staff of SuperheroHype) were tremendous fans of his work. Our condolences go out to his wife and the rest of his family on his untimely passing at far too young an age.
You can read more thoughts and condolences from friends and colleagues of this pivotal force within the world of comics over on Twitter.