Story  Another great shaper of comics history gone.

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Denny O'Neil is one of the most influential writers of the last fifty years. His work on Batman, Green Lantern and Superman is iconic! 

I will try to find Amazing Heroes #50 with had an in-depth interview of him going over all his Batman stories!

Denny's known for a lot of great writing, but his reinvention of The Question with Denys Cowan is the one that always spoke most directly to me. It's full of anger, doubt, and self-examination -- it reaches you with ideas that superhero comics rarely attempt. Such a great run. I'll be rereading it soon.  

I met Denny years ago, at kind of an Inside the Comics Writers Studio class that Danny Fingeroth conducted for NYU. He was a fascinating guy, very astute, and forthright in his opinions on storytelling and life. 

Denny had the unusual knack of reinvigorating characters without upsetting most readers. A fine line to tread. Another great one lost, and I didn't even get to see him on a panel, let alone meet him. 

I am stunned as everyone by the loss of Denny O'Neil, who is a giant in the field.

I don't have unreserved praise for his output; earlier this year, I encountered the "Kryptonite No More!" stories he did for Action Comics and was less than impressed. But I chalk that up to a mismatch between writer and character; Superman wasn't somebody that played to O'Neil's strengths.

Batman plainly worked out well, and so did Green Arrow and Green Lantern, as noted here

And I concur with the praise for The Question.; I was (and am) completely unacquainted with Steve Ditko's version of the character, so I fully appreciated what O'Neil did in its own right.

I also like what he did with Iron Man after he moved over to Marvel; he had Tony Stark relapse on his drinking and really hit rock bottom. (One issue had Stark on such a bender, he woke up somewhere without knowing where he was. We readers didn't either.) Stark lost EVERYTHING.and had to crawl out of the bottle and back up. 

Paul Levitz posted a tribute on Facebook: "Paul Levitz on Denny O'Neil"


Whether you enjoyed his work or not, he definitely had a huge hand in defining DC's Bronze Age. RIP Mr. O'Neil.

I had no idea he was 20 years older than me, 10 years older than peers like Len Wein. I thought all those Bronze Age guys were about the same age, or at least all Baby Boomers. O'Neil, born in 1938, was from a cohort a generation ahead of Boomers like Wein, Wolfman, Skeates, et al.

Anyway, O'Neil has carved a permanent place in comics history and won't soon be forgotten. If nothing else, there are all those streets named for him on Batman: The Animated Series, Gotham, Arrow ...

O'Neill had his own struggles with alcohol for a while (in 2008 he wrote, in a column for ComicMix, "My love of alcohol cost me a marriage and a job and a lot of dignity and some trips to the hospital"), which might be why he had Iron Man relapse -- because he was able to bring some of his own experiences into the comics. He always wrote from the heart. 

I was also surprised that he wasn't in the same age group as the writers who took over from Fox, Broome, et al.

Captain Comics said:

I had no idea he was 20 years older than me, 10 years older than peers like Len Wein. I thought all those Bronze Age guys were about the same age, or at least all Baby Boomers. O'Neil, born in 1938, was from a cohort a generation ahead of Boomers like Wein, Wolfman, Skeates, et al.

Sergius O'Shaugnessy, to you I raise my glass!

Through June 23, DC is offering Green Lantern/Green Arrow 76 for free on Comixology to commemorate Denny's passing. 

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