Writer and editor Dennis J. “Denny” O’Neil, known for writing stories about Batman, Green Lantern, Justice League and X-Men, passed away last Thursday at the age of 81. The news was confirmed by his wife, who said that she died of natural causes.
O’Neil had a long career dedicated to the comics industry, having started writing for X-Men and Doctor Strange. In 1968, O’Neil went with Dick Giordano to DC Comics, a step that marked his career.
With artist Neal Adams, the duo helped renew Batman after the 1966 television series, bringing the Dark Knight and his villains back to their darker roots and introducing new key characters like Ra’s al Ghul, Talia al Ghul and Leslie Thompkins .
Adams and O’Neil also worked on the Green Lantern / Green Arrow series, dealing with a range of political topics. In the 1971 Green Lantern / Green Arrow # 85 issue, the duo went into controversy with Speedy’s now iconic cover, Oliver Queen’s sidekick, consuming heroin (you can see the cover in the gallery above).
In 1980 he returned to Marvel and worked on several sagas like The Amazing Spider-Man, co-creating characters like Madame Web and Hydro-Man, and The Invincible Iron Man, where he co-created Obadiah Stane, Tony Stark’s rival.
O’Neil also had an impact on the industry as an editor, presiding over Frank Miller’s legendary Daredevil series and serving as editor of the Batman comics line from 1986 to 2000.
The writer / editor thus leaves a huge legacy. Batman writer Tom King was one of the industry figures to pay tribute to O’Neil on social media.
Denny O’Neil made timeless comics by making comics about his time. The revolutions of the 60s, the excesses of the 70s, the corruption of the 80s, the facades of the 90s — he used super hero tropes as brushstrokes to paint a picture of who we are and who we could be. RIP. pic.twitter.com/eWwI6tfnrp
– Tom King (@TomKingTK) June 12, 2020
Pedro Ferreira is a content producer at IGN Portugal. You can follow him on Twitter