A titan of the comics industry, writer and editor Dennis “Denny” O’Neil passed away aged 81 on 11 June. Best known for writing and editing Batman comic books, he died of natural causes.
In his illustrious career, O’Neil penned Batman, Detective Comics and Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight besides serving as an editor for DC’s Batman comic books from 1986 till 2000.
He also wrote for other iconic comic book superheroes like the ever popular Spider-Man and Iron Man for Marvel. He was also one of the brains involved behind naming Optimus Prime, the leader of the Transformers series.
Born on 3 May, 1939 O’Neil graduated from St. Louis University, where he studied English literature, creative writing and philosophy. He began his career in comics in the early 1960s as Stan Lee’s assistant at Marvel and briefly worked at Charlton Comics before he was hired at DC Comics in 1968.
O’Neil is known for his contributions for bringing the classic superhero The Shadow to DC Comics in an atmospheric update. He also created Ra’s Al Ghul and Talia Al Ghul, as well as fan-favourite Azrael. He’s also responsible for strengthening the Dark Knight character, making him a dark character again. In the process, he also updated Joker and Two-Face to serious villains. And he also helped kill Jason Todd. He also wrote on Green Lantern and was the first one to bring social justice issues to DC Comics.
After his death, family, friends and fans flooded social media with love for the comic legend.