Comics Legend Dennis O’Neil Passes Away at 81

On Thursday, legendary comic book writer Dennis O’Neil passed away from natural causes.

O’Neil began his comic book career at Marvel Comics, where he penned Doctor Strange and Strange Tales.  He would later bounce between Charlton Comics, DC Comics, returning to Marvel, and ultimately landing again at DC where he would become the editor of the entire Batman line of books.

During his career, O’Neil put his stamp on a number of books, including The Shadow, Daredevil, X-men, Superman, The Question, Wonder Woman, and many more. He created several lasting characters along the way, including Ra’s al Ghul, Talia al Ghul, Azrael, Madame Web, Yuriko Oyama (later to become Lady Deathstrike), and is even credited with naming Optimus Prime. One of his most celebrated works was on DC’s Green Lantern and Green Arrow series.

As a writer and editor on Batman, O’Neil was tasked with reinventing the character after the “camp” era of the 1960s. His take on the character transformed him into the “Dark Knight” that we know today, and became the standard by which other interpretations of the character are measured. Fan of Batman the Animated Series? That’s pretty much O’Neil’s version of Batman.

Outside of comics, O’Neil was a U.S. Navy veteran, he wrote novels, short stories, and teleplays (sometimes under the pseudonym Jim Dennis), and worked as a writing instructor at the Manhattan School of Visual Arts, as well. O’Neil also sat on the board of The Hero Initiative, a charity designed to assist struggling comic creators with health, medical, and quality-of-life assistance.

Dennis O’Neil’s passing is a heavy loss, but his legacy will be felt for a long time. He was 81.

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May 3, 1939 –  June 11, 2020

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4 comments

  • Rusty Shackelford

    Is that an actual comic with his gravestone or was that edited?

    R.I.P., and God bless his family.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Pingback: Review: “Batman: Death of Innocents” (DC Comics; In Memory of Dennis O’Neil) |

  • I was fortunate enough to meet Denny O’Neil twice, once at the Baltimore Comic Con and once at the East Coast Comic Con. Each time he had long lines of fans, and even though he was well into his 70’s, he took the time to speak to the fans and share stories about the comics they were bringing for him to get signed.

    Characters like Batman, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, and Daredevil all existed before Denny O’Neil, but they weren’t the characters I know and love until Denny O’Neil got the chance to work on them.

    I will miss seeing him at shows…I will miss his influence on creative talent..I will miss his eye for new talent…but I will always be grateful for his contributions.

    Thank you Denny!

    Liked by 1 person

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