Daredevil is probably the most consistently great comic book of the past twenty or so years. I mean, it’s had its middling to average runs here and there but for the most part, it’s the one book whose pedigree of writers and artists have yet to be matched. This was mostly in due part to Denny O’Neil, the man who gave Frank Miller the reigns to not only write the comic but to draw it as well. Frank Miller, of course, paved the way not only for future Daredevil writers by reinventing the character for subsequent stories to come. Being the progenitor of talent he was, O’Neil likely saw the potential in creators like Miller that early on.
In addition to his work on Marvel, O’Neil’s stint on Batman and Green Lantern/Green Arrow with artist Neal Adams became nothing short of legendary. The duo dusted off the Caped Crusader’s campiness brought on by the 60s TV show and pulled the character back down to the darkest pits of Gotham where the character started. The response to this back-to-roots change to the Batman was acclaimed. Villains like Two-Face and the Joker saw a resurgence in their popularity and super iconic Batvillain was Ra’s Al-Ghul introduced. With Green Lanter/Green Arrow, O’Neil tackled social problems head-on, exploring themes of drug use, radicalism, and activism unlike any other writer of the time.
Denny O’Neil passed away at the age of 81 yesterday. His work will be remembered forever. Our hearts go out to his loved and to all those who admired him. Rest in peace, king.