Why Dwayne McDuffie Was Better Than You


In continuing my celebration of being a black geek, today I’m discussing one of my all-time favorite writers, the late and brilliant Dwayne McDuffie.

While some writers and editors today are busy engaging in rape culture, or attacking female fans, or just being a homophobic bastard, McDuffie was penning epic and inclusive tales.

Most people think that because McDuffie was black he only campaigned for blackness in comics. Not true. McDuffie stood tall for all POCs, women’s rights as illustrated with Rocket’s story, gay heroes as proven by Static’s partner Gear, and trans protagonists such as Marissa Rahm in the miniseries Deathwish.

In short McDuffie was fighting for social justice long before it was the fad with spoiled white kids on Tumblr.

And because he’s not white, he won’t get the credit he’s due.

McDuffie made the following video discussing the harsh realities of being a black writer, in regards to the racism, rebuke and attacks (both professional and personal) that we face in our day-to-day.

While he was speaking on the comic book industry specifically, I can tell you from firsthand experience from promoting Hollowstone, that black writers face these challenges in any field.




13 thoughts on “Why Dwayne McDuffie Was Better Than You

  1. Sometimes, when I look at the state of superhero comics, especially DC Comics, and I get angry, which is more often than not, I think about how much DC Comics did not deserve Dwayne McDuffie. They also don’t deserve Gail Simone and Greg Rucka, Amanda Conner and Nicola Scott, but Dwayne McDuffie worked on over two thirds of the episodes of the Justice League, and that was my DC Comics. Not the comics, but the animation.

    • Amen. The world that Dwayne helped created in Static and JLU will always be my favorite part of the DCU, no exception. That man was the unknown hero of my childhood :/ His absence and what it means for that craphole of a company that DC currently is is just heartbreaking. I feel like if Dwayne had been around for the new52, things might have been at least a little different…

      Also, an awesome Dwayne McDuffie story.

  2. In short McDuffie was fighting for social justice long before it was the fad with spoiled white kids on Tumblr.

    No offense but, why the random insult? What did we do to tick you off today?

  3. I’ve lurked around this site for a while now, I have to finally delurk and reply to this. Dwayne McDuffie is one of my greatest role models and inspirations.
    As a child/teen his work was first introduced to me by way of shows like Static Shock and the Justice League, then later to his work in comic books. At first creators were of little note to me, but as I grew older, understood and accepted that I was a gay trans-guy, started to see the world for how it was, and realized how hard people like Dwayne struggled to present the world with good, solid stories and well rounded, real heroes for those of us who weren’t straight white men/boys. That’s when I really started to pay attention to story creators.
    Dwayne McDuffie wasn’t gay, he didn’t have to include us. But he did. Because he knew what it was like to be a child and feel left out. knew what it was like to be left wondering ‘but what about me?’ So he did, and in doing so could give us hope, even when he couldn’t let the characters be openly and obviously who they were.
    Your title is right. Dwayne McDuffie IS better than me. As of tonight I have yet to inspire as many or rather any people as he has. He gave us heroes we could aspire to be who were still people we could relate to. He gave us stories that we could escape into when the real world was just too harsh to handle. Maybe someday I can, it is my dream and my goal, and if it happens it will be for and because of Dwayne. I can think of no better way to honor his legacy than to give the next generation of children and teens the wonderful feeling of inclusion that he gave me, as well as help support the work of others trying to to do the same.

    That two page comic gets me every time. Because that happened, they got him, they got him bad. They felt they could safely pat him on the back post-humorously and go back to doing the same old bigotry. Little do they realize that we’re on to them, in this age of internet access they can’t hide their prejudice for very long, we can see it, we can call them out, show our family and friends, continue to stand our ground. If they won’t budge and try to block us so be it, we’ll keep forging our own paths and leave them behind in the dust.

  4. I’m so glad for comics bloggers, because that’s how I found out about McDuffie’s Static Shock – which I enjoyed greatly. I’m not sure my LCS guy would have thought to recommend it to me because he thinks of me as “that gal who likes indie stuff and strong female leads.” I’ve had to start educating him that I’m that gal who likes indie stuff and DIVERSE VOICES. 🙂 So please keep up with discussing creators worth reading, because there are people out here listening.

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