The world of comic books and superheroes lost a legend this week with the passing of comic book writer and novelist Denny O’Neill.

Born in Missouri, O’Neill had a long and distinguished career in the world of comics. O’Neill started working at Marvel Comics scripting Doctor Strange stories in Strange Tales as well as reviving the character of Professor X with artist Neal Adams in X-Men #65.


In 1968, O’Neill went to work at DC Comics as an editor where he was tasked with bolstering sales with the creation of new characters. O’Neill co-created The Creeper with Steve Ditko. He also made changes to the lineup of the Justice League before making history with Green Arrow #85-86. This storyline revolved around Green Arrow discovering that his sidekick Speedy was addicted to heroin. The story and its impact were featured everywhere including the New York Times.


Denny O’Neill took Batman back to his dark roots in the 1970’s after the end of the 60’s TV series and O’Neill’s version of the character has influeced every interpretation of Batman ever since. He also created the characters of Ras Al Ghul and Talia with Neal Adams before writing Superman vs Muhammad Ali in 1978. After returning to Marvel, O’Neill wrote another iconic story with Spider-Man vs the Punisher in 1981 as well as co-creating Madame Web, Hydro-Man, Obadiah Stane and Lady Deathstrike.

He created the character of Azrael with Joe Quesada when he returned to DC Comics in 1992 and also wrote the two part Batman: The Animated Series episode The Demon’s Quest.

O’Neill’s legacy in comics is long and distinguished. It is a legacy of storytelling that will continue to inspire and entertain for generations to come.

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