Dwayne Glenn McDuffie (February 20, 1962 – February 21, 2011) was an American comic book writer, known mostly for his creation of the African-American superhero Static. Although originating in McDuffie's indie Milestone Comics label, Static eventually moved to the DC Universe, and his creator followed suit. McDuffie wrote for DC Comics, and contributed to various animated DC spin-offs, including Static Shock, Justice League and several Direct to Video movies. He was the main writer and editor for the Ben 10: Alien Force and Ben 10: Ultimate Alien animated series.
Before Milestone, McDuffie also worked at Marvel Comics, where he created Damage Control, a series about the people who clean up the mess after superhero-supervillain battles. Much later, he returned to Marvel temporarily to write Fantastic Four, which had fallen into the hands of an editor who remembered McDuffie's love of the characters from the days when they were both lowly Marvel minions together.
His influence on the DC Animated Universe, starting with Justice League, cannot be understated. While Paul Dini had been responsible for setting much of the universe's tone in the 1990s with his deep and psychological character stories in Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series, McDuffie was the main driving force behind the expansive and epic Story Arcs that came to define the universe in the 2000s.
McDuffie also is also credited with defining the "Tommy Westphall Universe Hypothesis", pointing out that with the controversial Series Finale of St. Elsewhere revealing that the show was a product of the character Tommy Westphall's imagination, it also, by extension, implies that every show St. Elsewhere had Crossovers with, as well as every crossover and spin-offs those shows had, are also thought up by Tommy. Ironically, while McDuffie wrote this hypothesis as a tongue-in-cheek criticism of comic book fans overly obsessed with continuity and as a warning against relying too much upon guest appearances to establish continuity, many of said fans obsessed with continuity have reported to find the idea rather compelling and there has even a couple of academic papers have been written about it.
Sadly and shockingly to his fans, McDuffie passed away suddenly on February 21, 2011 due to complications during a surgical procedure he had the day before. His last work was the script for Justice League: Doom, the animated version of JLA: Tower of Babel. He was 49, having just recently had a birthday a day before his death.
In honor of his work, two different awards were created: the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity, for comics that promote racial and ethnic diversity, and later the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Kids' Comics, which is also just what you'd think.
After his death, it was discovered that he is the paternal half-brother of Keegan-Michael Key (of MADtv and Key & Peele fame), but the two never met (or were aware of each other's existence) during McDuffie's lifetime. Key elaborates on the circumstances here.
Works by Dwayne McDuffie with their own trope pages include:
- All-Star Superman
- Ben 10: Alien Force
- Ben 10: Ultimate Alien
- Damage Control
- Justice League
- Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths
- Justice League: Doom
- Monster in My Pocket (the page includes info on the comic book series based on the figurine line that he wrote)
- Static Shock
- Super Models
Other works by Dwayne McDuffie provide examples of:
- Author Tract: McDuffie would often include his thoughts on race relations in his work. One of the more notable examples would be an issue of Icon which talked about the historical importance of the Blaxploitation superheroes of the 1970s.
- Deadpan Snarker: There's no better example than "Teenage Negro Ninja Thrashers", a mock pitch satirizing the state of black Marvel characters in the late '80s (along with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles).
- Room Full of Crazy