Dwayne McDuffie died on Monday at the age of 49 due to complications from surgery. I’m assuming the surgery was a cajone reduction procedure because McDuffie had massive cajones. During his too-short career he garnered too many credits to list. Among this prolific badass’s creds were jobs at both DC and Marvel, most famously for writing and producing the Justice League Unlimited animated series. As Rich Johnston puts it in this great article:
Whenever people complain this summer that Green Lantern isn’t black, look to Dwayne McDuffie for making John Stewart so iconic in the role in JLU.
And returning to those aforementioned giant cajones (I always return to cajones), Dwayne McDuffie should be remembered — if for nothing else — for sending the scathing letter to the right to his employer, Marvel, in 1989. In it McDuffie points out that 25% of all black superheroes in the Marvel Universe had “skateboard-based super powers”. He proposed a series called “Teenage Negro Ninja Thrashers” staring four nondescript black guys on skateboards and their two fully-fleshed-out white friend characters who solve their problems and calm them down. Any time you see a black Marvel character who doesn’t have ridiculous, skateboard-based super powers, you can thank Dwayne McDuffie.
[Inset picture via NextRound.]