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Tue, 02.20.1962

Dwayne McDuffie, Super Hero Writer born

Dwayne Mcduffie

*Dwayne McDuffie was born on this date in 1962. He was a Black writer of comic books and animated television.

Dwayne Glenn McDuffie was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Edna McDuffie Gardner. He graduated from The Roeper School and the University of Michigan with a bachelor's degree in English and then earned a master's degree in physics. He then moved to New York to attend film school at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.  In New York, he co-hosted a radio comedy program and wrote for stand-up comedians and late-night television comedy programs.  While McDuffie was working as a copy editor at the business magazine Investment Dealers' Digest, a friend got him an interview for an assistant editor position at Marvel Comics.

At Marvel, he was editor Bob Budiansky's assistant on special projects.  McDuffie helped develop the company's first superhero trading cards and scripted stories. His first major work was Damage Control. After becoming an editor at Marvel, McDuffie submitted a spoof proposal for a comic entitled Teenage Negro Ninja Thrashers. In 1990 he became a freelancer and wrote dozens of comics titles for Marvel, DC Comics, and Archie Comics.

Also during this time, wanting to express a multicultural sensibility that he felt was missing in comic books, McDuffie and three partners founded Milestone Media, which The Plain Dealer of Cleveland, Ohio, described in 2000 as "the industry's most successful minority-owned-and-operated comic company.  Milestone, whose characters include the African American Static, Icon, and Hardware; the Asian-American Xombi, and the multi-ethnic superhero group the Blood Syndicate, which includes Black, Asian, and Latino men and women, debuted its titles in 1993 through a distribution deal with DC Comics. His other television writing credits included Teen Titans and What's New, Scooby-Doo?

McDuffie was hired as a staff writer for the Justice League animated series and promoted to story editor and producer. During the entire animated series run, McDuffie wrote, produced, or story-edited 69 out of the 91 episodes. He also wrote the story for the video game Justice League Heroes. After his work there, McDuffie returned to writing comic books, writing the Marvel miniseries Beyond!. McDuffie was hired to help revamp and story-edit Cartoon Network's popular animated Ben 10 franchise with Ben 10: Alien Force, continuing the adventures of the ten-year-old title character into his mid and late teenage years. He also wrote several direct-to-DVD animated films featuring DC Comics characters. In 2007, McDuffie wrote several issues of Firestorm for DC Comics through its cancellation.

He married comic book and animated-TV writer Charlotte Fullerton in 2009. McDuffie wrote Milestone Forever for DC Comics, a two-issue, square-bound miniseries chronicling the final adventures of his Milestone characters before a catastrophic event that fuses their continuity with the continuity of the DC Universe.

On February 21, 2011, one day after his 49th birthday, McDuffie died of complications from emergency heart surgery at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California.  He lived at the time in nearby Sherman Oaks, California. His final animated project was scripting the direct-to-DVD adaptation of All-Star Superman, which was released one day after his death.

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