O’Neil worked for many years at both DC and Marvel Comics.
Denny O’Neil, a legend in the comic book industry who worked for both DC Comics and Marvel as an editor and writer, died Thursday at the age of 81 from natural causes.
O’Neil was born in 1939 and previously worked as a reporter in Missouri before penning a series of articles about the comic book industry in the mid-1960s that led to a career at Marvel and then at DC.
Over the course of more than three decades, O’Neil worked at both publishers, writing and overseeing stories starring a wide range of superheroes, from Superman to Doctor Strange.
At DC, O'Neil brought new life to Batman, alongside artist Neal Adams.
"They channeled the zeitgeist of the times and brought to life a darker, more evocative yet grounded take on Batman," said DC Chief Creative Officer and Publisher Jim Lee. pic.twitter.com/VDhIw6K3Ex
— DC Nation (@thedcnation) June 12, 2020
O’Neil’s most famous comic contributions, however, arguably came in the 1970s, when his work with artist Neal Adams revived Batman as a grim and brooding detective. O’Neil’s take ignored the character’s then-popular campy image as defined by the 1966 “Batman” television show starring Adam West in favor of a vibe that “channeled the zeitgeist of the times and brought to life a darker, more evocative yet grounded take on Batman,” Jim Lee, DC Comics’ chief creative officer and publisher, said in a statement Friday.