Apparently, Dwayne McDuffie died today, and I'm just a little sad about the whole thing. I'm a pretty big fan of his, even if I didn't shout it from the rooftops too often.
I mean, I wasn't collecting comics in his Marvel heyday in the 80s, and wasn't really interested in his Milestone stuff when I started collecting in the 90s (Marvel Zombie, what can I say?), but as I discovered his stuff it blew me away.
I think the first time he blipped on my radar was when I found an old copy of Damage Control. The series is fantastic. It follows the insurance company that's responsible for rebuilding those things that are damaged via superhero brawls in a timely and costly manner. It's basically a walking No-Prize, and I loved every last second of it. The big goofy fun, the way it twisted around what was going on in the Marvel U at the time, the smart laugh-out-loud dialogue; it goes down in the annuls as one of the best series Marvel did in the 80s.
As the years went by, I became more aware of his name and knew that whenever it appeared, good things were sure to follow. Because of him, I gave the animated Justice League a chance and - after the first two terrible seasons - I was rewarded with one of the greatest superhero animated shows on television.
And while I was upset that he killed one of my favorite characters, Gravity, in the Beyond! miniseries, I was pleased as punch when he returned him to life while positioning him for bigger and better things (that never came to pass).
Dwayne McDuffie was pure talent, and if you've never read any of his old stuff you should make a point to do so. I can't really vouch for any of his later, editorial-slaughtered, DC stuff, but his Marvel stuff from the 80s, early 90s, and 00s is pretty fantastic on every level. Assuming, of course, that you enjoy big fun comics where the good guys spout one liners, the bad guys scheme, and in the end good is triumphant.
You'll be missed, Dwayne, but I'm sure you'll be in good hands hanging out with Lincoln and the gang.
Meanwhile, I'm off to find a copy of the animated All-Star Superman, his latest big work. I'm sure it'll be gratuitously awesome, like everything McDuffie did.