RIP Dwayne McDuffie
February 23, 2011 Leave a comment
Yesterday the world lost one of its greats with the death of comic book writer Dwayne McDuffie. As a writer, McDuffie wrote Batman, The Fantastic Four and the Justice League of America in addition to creating and editing the Milestone universe of comic books. Amongst some fans McDuffie is perhaps best known as a writer and producer of the animated Justice League and Justice League Unlimited television shows. McDuffie’s writing was filled with wit, heart and often challenged readers to look at things in a new way.
As one of the more prominent African-American creators in the industry, McDuffie made it his cause to help introduce more superheroes of color and also point out when the industry was being a bit tone deaf towards matters of race. Famously in 1989, while working as an editor at Marvel, McDuffie observed that two recently created black superheroes, Rocket Racer and Night Thrasher (center front, on the skateboard) had the same skateboard based superpowers. On top of that, these two characters made up a quarter of Marvel’s black superheroes. So, in response McDuffie created a satirical pitch for a comic book he called “Teenage Negro Ninja Thrashers.” Needless to say, the higher-ups at Marvel saw McDuffie’s point. In tribute to McDuffie, here’s his brilliant “TNNT” pitch: