Comics Folk Talk About the Impact of Dennis O'Neil

Last week, we learned of the death of the late, great, Dennis O'Neil. So many have had things to say about his impact on their live, their career and the comic book artform. Here are just a few from some of the biggest names in comics. We begin with Neal Adams, his long-standing collaborator on X-Men, Green Lantern/Green Arrow and Batman,

WE'VE LOST A HERO

Denny O'Neil has died after having filled our lives with the pleasure of his work.

Why was, and how was, Denny so special and important?

Like Hemmingway, writing is a result of the life you led before setting pen to paper. Denny was a reporter on the Night Beat. His life wasn't filled with monsters, ray-blasted cities, exploded worlds and the like.

His was a dirty underbelly of urban sprawl, domestic violence, and bloody hospital emergency rooms.

And when Denny wrote comic books he did not forget any of that for one minute. Personal violence in dark places peppered his work and made it personal to the reader. Denny O'Neil changed comics for the better. Could be it's time to relearn some of those lessons. Lessons for which Denny O'Neil was and remains the best teacher.

Crack some of those books and give them a read. That's pure Denny O'Neil. Share the pleasure with me.

Denny, say hello to Dick.

Bill Sienkiewicz

The great Denny O'neil has passed away.

Late last night. Quitely, peacefully, at home, with home health care nurse holding his hand.

He was a kind man with an acerbic edge, a giving soul, wickedly funny, and an incredibly talented writer who penned some of the greatest comic stories ever told.

He was also my first comic book editor on Moon Knight, which, as a fan of his work, was intimidating as hell. He made me up my game. More, he took time out of work life to become a friend, one who generously gave of his personal time to talk from experience and of demons, to a young farm kid from New Jersey about the path of self-destruction farm kid was heading down because of farm kid's drinking. Not many folks will step up like that. Denny did, and I will be forever grateful.

He helped make me a better professional, and better artist and storyteller, a better person, and to take what i do very seriously as a responsibility. Of course, in doing so, he also helped create a monster who butted heads with him about any number of creative issues on MK, but in the end , he was a dear friend, a wonderful colleague and mentor. I learned so very much from him.

You will be missed, my friend. Rest in Peace.

Gerry Conway

I'm heartbroken. Denny was my mentor, my big brother, and my friend during my earliest years in comics. His influence on my personal growth as a human being can't be overstated. Our field has lost a giant.

Paul Levitz

Denny's gone, brought social conscience to comics. He was a journalist at heart, and knew his obit would have Batman in the lede, but I think he'd have been prouder of this way of looking at his life. Not that he was the first, much less the only one, but damn it he was the loudest. Not personally, he wasn't a shouter. But the stories he told and edited screamed for justice for the causes that mattered to him. From GREEN LANTERN/GREEN ARROW to SEDUCTION OF THE GUN, and in subtle moments as well as the loud ones, he set the standard for giving a damn.

He was a teacher, maybe the best of his generation teaching writing and editing in comics. He taught me copy editing, and how to parse my dialogue for comics to be effective. His disciples filled the field.

He was the most economical of writers, communicating with his collaborators in the briefest of art directions but getting great work from them, offering tight dialogue that was precisely on point.

He was a philosopher, searching for ways to make the world better…even exploring how a new religion might be necessary for a time when it was no longer about man mastering the Earth, but learning to live in harmony with it.

And having buried the lede, he made Batman what he is, writing the stories and editing others that set the tone for the post-camp Dark Knight on through everything that Tim Burton and Christopher Nolan leaned on.

Denny got a second lease on life from his marriage to MariFran, and they shared amazing years until her passing. Once she was gone, it was only a matter of time until he followed.

This is the second of my poker buddies to cash in their chips in about a month. He lived a full life, was shocked at the recognition he achieved, and leaves behind his son Larry, with whom he shared many personal and professional joys.

But most of all, and ever so relevant at a moment like this, he taught us that we could…no, we should…damn it, we must use our podiums as writers, editors and teachers to push the world to become a better, more just place.

—-

An O'Neil observation: Denny was a connoisseur of craft. Read any of his reviews (dissections?) of film and you can see that he looked at each media form for what he could learn and bring to his own writing. He passed on those tools to his students, or people who wrote for him, or anyone who he thought could benefit. He like a grid tool I used to keep track of my plots (the Legion in particular was a comic you couldn't write–or perhaps even read–without a scorecard), and named it "the Levitz Paradigm" and referenced it in his book on writing comics. It was hardly a unique concept or tool, but Denny wanted to add it to the toolbox, and he wanted each tool suitably named so when he reached for it in the operating room of his mind, there'd be no confusion about his choice. It was an undeserved honor for me.

Joe Quesada

Words cannot express what Denny meant to me and so many others. I learned more in the short span of time that I was fortunate enough to work with both He, and Archie Goodwin, than perhaps the entirety of my years in the biz.

A brilliant writer, editor, and true gentlemen.

Godspeed, Denny.

J.M. DeMatteis

When I started in the business, there were certain editors who had my respect the instant I walked in the room, simply because of who they were, what they'd accomplished. Denny O'Neil was one of those editors. How fortunate I was to learn from one of the very best.

Frank Miller

Rest In Peace Denny O'Neil. I first became aware of him reading the Batman comics he made with Neal Adams. These stories opened up the wider world of classic adventure for me.

Christina Blanch

RIP Dennis. You were so talented and amazing and to me, so kind. In addition to doing an interview for a class I taught, he wrote this for the course. I didn't ask him to, he just did. Because that's the kind of guy he is. Thank you, Denny, for everything. I will miss you.

Annie Nocenti

this one hurts. my friend and mentor. gave me my first writing gig in comics. Saw him last year, he was wise and hilarious as ever, despite ill health. rest in peace.

Dan DiDio

Very sorry to hear about the passing of Denny O'Neil. Denny was one of true legends of the industry and responsible for so many great and important stories in comic book history.

For me, he will always be the one who gave a voice Batman, leading his creative vision as both writer and editor for decades, and letting his own sense of morality shine through the character. I had the chance to work with Denny briefly when I first joined DC and had the honor of representing DC when Denny received a Westchester County Lifetime Achievement Award.

Denny gave soul and gravitas to DC Comics and the industry. May he Rest In Peace.

Mike Mignola

RIP Denny O'Neil.

He gave me my first regular inking gig (Master of Kung Fu) way before I had any idea what I was doing.

Eventually I worked with him directly on some Batman covers. I remember him having way too many ideas and I just wanted to know what he wanted me to draw–But for all that a real pleasure to work with. A constant feature at both Marvel and DC in those years I worked for both. Sorry to see him go.

Chris Claremont

OMG😢 Denny O'Neil has passed. Talk about a gut-punch. Not sure I can think about this right now, need time to…well, think. I don't want it to be true, any more than I did Stan's passing. To say I'll miss him, that I enjoyed his work, that I learned from him-such complete cliches. But true nonetheless. Thanks to him & Neil, to me as a young reader-writer, the Bat became great. Rest well, my friend. You helped set standards I'll always try to meet, and reader will always enjoy!

Craig Yoe

R.I.P. DENNY O'NEIL the great comics writer, has passed. We had the pleasure of working with him on our book "We Spoke Out: Comic Books and the Holocaust".And what I think is his greatest story, Children of Doom, was in our book "The Unknown Anti-War Comics". So you can see he was a man of compassion and peace. He wore peace on his chest, carried it in his heart and was a strong advocate for it. May he now rest in peace. My deep condolences to his friends and family.

Brandon Easton

I met Denny O'Neil many, many times over the years. He was always kind and always answered my questions about being a writer. I was trying to take a pic with my cherished GREEN ARROW/GREEN LANTERN hardcover set that I got signed by the creative team but figured I had to share my thoughts on a true storytelling master.

RIP, good sir.

Tom King

Denny O'Neil made timeless comics by making comics about his time. The revolutions of the 60s, the excesses of the 70s, the corruption of the 80s, the facades of the 90s—he used super hero tropes as brushstrokes to paint a picture of who we are and who we could be. RIP.

Dan Brereton

Farewell Denny O'Neil.

His talent greatly elevated the medium of Comic books and when he was the Batman group editor you felt Gotham and it's denizens were in the best hands. I didn't know him well enough to say much about him personally – I had dinner with him in Oakland once in the 90's and he was very interesting and easy to talk to- I came away feeling I wanted to cross paths with him again. And yes, that dinner with Denny did feel like meeting a legend , but a very human one : ) it's a jarring and sad thing to learn he's passed on.

Colleen Doran

Denny O'Neil was an amazing creative force. He was one of those people you just thought would live forever. Of course he lives on in his work, his presence is all over comics. I was never close to him, but he had my utmost respect.

Paul Dini

Denny O'Neil – he saved the best of comics Golden Age, revitalized it for the Silver Age, and became the architect of all that was to come. RIP.

Brad Meltzer

We owe him for more than you think. Batman. Green Arrow. And "During his time editing at Marvel, he was the one who hired then-newcomer Frank Miller to take over the Daredevil title." RIP Denny O'Neil

Scott Snyder

Crushed to hear about Denny O'Neil. I met him for the 1st time in 2012 filming this extras reel for Batman Year One & I couldn't stop geeking out. He was so kind and encouraging tho, &I feel lucky to have gotten to know him over the years. True giant. Lights dim in Gotham tonight

Stephen Bissette

SAD STUFF:

R.I.P. the great Denny O'Neil, who was second only to Archie Goodwin as Steve Perry's and my favorite editor at Marvel Comics during our brief freelance arc for Marvel in the early 1980s.

Brian Augustyn

My one-time boss, mentor and hero, Denny O'Neil, revered writer and editor, has died at 81. Writer of a classic Batman revival in 1969, he went on to guard and guide the character as editor from the 1980s through his retirement in the early 2000s. Denny's career encompassed many breakthrough runs on Batman, Superman, Green Lantern and Green Arrow, Iron Man, Daredevil, the Justice League of America, and so many more–as well as being a voice for social causes in and out of comics. Denny has been experiencing declining health for the past few years, but I got to sit next to him at last year at the Phoenix Fan Fusion (or whatever it was called). Good-bye Denny, the industry is better for your being around, and so is my life.

Patrick Zircher

Denny O'Neil passed away. You could fill a comics library with his work alone. He, and Stan Lee, are the most notable writers for exploring human frailty in the superhero genre. Denny O'Neil made comics better.

Denys Cowan

for Denny O'Neil Our Question RIP love dc

Dennis ONeil

Joe Illidge

I don't have the words for how much this one hurts. After Dwayne McDuffie, Denny was not only my boss, but a mentor, an exemplary editor, and a good, good human being. This is a bad year, and our angels continue to fall from the sky.

Dan Jurgens

So sorry to learn of Denny O'Neil's passing. As a kid, I loved his work because it had a sense of individuality that stood out. Later, I was fortunate enough to work both with him and for him. He was a true great, whose contributions will be remembered forever. RIP, Denny.

Walter Simonson

Denny O'Neil has taken the last flight out via Power Ring. I've known Denny since shortly after I got into comics professionally, although I knew his work before that as comics reader. I think we only worked together once, early in my career. He was my editor. After I finished working on Manhunter, I did some oddball/one-off jobs. Then, out of the blue, Denny asked if I'd be interested in doing layouts for Wallace Wood to do finishes over on a book called Hercules Unbound. I already knew Woody slightly from hanging out at Continuity Associates. And in any case, Woody was really a legend, a brilliant artist early in his career. At that point, I'd never done layouts for anyone to ink; I'd always inked my own work. But this was Wallace Wood! I jumped at the chance. I was thrilled to do the armature drawing for Woody to polish off. And this meant that in hindsight years down the road, I would appreciate more than ever that Denny gave me the chance to check off two names on my bucket list. 1. Got to work with Wallace Wood. 2. Got to work with Dennis O'Neil. I'll always be grateful. Thanks for everything, Denny. I sure hope that you and Marifran are together again. Godspeed, pal.

(And an update – I'd completely forgotten that even earlier in my career, I had worked on Sword of Sorcery for DC, the adventures of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, a book that Denny wrote. I co-penciled issue 3 with Howard Victor Chaykin​, penciled and inked a short Young Fafhrd story in issue 4, and penciled and inked the lead story in the 5th and final issue. So that's another big check on the bucket list

Brian Stelfreeze

Your presence will be missed but your mark is indelible. Denny O'Neil, the legend -Brian

Jim Lee

RIP Denny O' Neil—one of visionary architects of DC Comics who helped revive Batman in the 1970's and remains my favorite Green Lantern writer to date. Through his editing and writing, Denny was one of the earliest writers whose work and focus on social issues pushed comics to wider respectability & acceptance as an artform. Through his work & mentorship, he influenced generations of writers & artists. I was so starstruck meeting Denny for the first time, but he was just the kindest. Our condolences to his family & many fans around the world. 2/

Gail Simone

I couldn't take the time to really process the loss of Denny O'Neil. First time I really met him, I was on a panel with him, and I just felt like the rest of us should shut up and go sit in the audience and listen. His stories from when I was a kid are STILL my favorites.

I am still a little fuzzy-brained and I'm not going to match the articulation of the people who knew him and loved him and got to work with him. To me he was just the Elvis of comics writers. If you read my comics, you can see how much of his plots and characters I used.

Not in homage or nostalgia, but simply because they just were so meaningful to me, so relevant. They're in my Bop, Secret Six, JLU, most any series I did for an extended time, I borrowed some of Denny's recipes because HE HAD ALREADY F-CKING PERFECTED THEM.

And when many other writers wrote about justice, they meant that a bank robbery got foiled. Denny wrote about evil and injustice on a whole other level. It stuck with me, I know it stuck with a lot of people. My articulation level is low today so: This truly sucks.

But I'm glad he existed. For fans of Batman, GI Joe, the Question and more… …he made a lot of us better readers, and many of us better writers. And I'm pretty sure he made a lot of us better people. Thank you, Denny.

Jeff Mariotte

Before and during the time I worked for DC Comics, I visited the DC offices many times, on Broadway across from the old Ed Sullivan Theater. It was an amazing place, full of the characters that've made DC one of the best known entertainment/publishing forces in the world.

Of those visits, two were especially memorable. One was when I took David Mariotte, age 6 or 7, I think, and he blew away the staffers with his knowledge of DC's properties, and scored some great gifts in return.

The other was when I flew to NYC to hammer out the details of the Batman/Gen13 crossover. I sat in a room with Dennis O'Neil, Archie Goodwin, and Bob Wayne. The sheer amount of history, knowledge, and talent in that room thrilled me. As I sat there, talking with the people who had helped make some of the greatest literature I've ever read, I was fully aware of the enormity of the moment. After the meeting, Denny took me to lunch around the corner from the offices. The glow from that day has never faded.

Despite the promises I made there–that I would see the crossover through to the finish–I failed. Gen13's writer rejected the instructions DC offered about how Batman had to be handled, and my company refused to put a different writer on the project. That was a foolish decision–Gen13 and Batman were hugely popular, and the book would've made a fortune. The audience's reaction at the San Diego Comic-Con when Bob Wayne and I unveiled the promo art was explosive. But I didn't have the power to live up to my promise, a failure I'll always regret.

Now Archie and Denny are both gone. Between the two of them, they created the best of what comics were, and are. They established the baseline, and everyone who came after works with the standards they set. They wrote some of the best comics I've ever read–for Denny, the best-ever stories of Batman, Green Lantern, and Green Arrow, books I cherish.

The last time I saw Denny, at Tucson Comic-Con, I meant to ask him to autograph my hardcovers of those runs, but I forgot to take them with me. I figured I'd always have another chance. I don't.

If you get the opportunity to meet your heroes, do it. You'll never forget it.

Kevin Smith

The Bat Bard passes, making it a hard traveling world without DENNY O'NEIL. He gave us back a Dark Knight Detective, asked an amazing Question, and nocked a classic Green Arrow. Talking to this legend on Fat Man on Batman & @ComicBookMenAMC were fanboy highlights of my life. RIP

Cliff Biggers

Denny O'Neil died last night at the age of 81. He was a superstar writer and storyteller; if you are a fan of Batman or Green Lantern or the Question, you owe him a debt of gratitude far greater than you likely realize. I see him as one of the most important comics writers of the second wave of Silver Age talents, ranking right up there alongside Roy Thomas.

Jason Aaron

For me as a young fan, Denny O'Neil's name became an unfailing sign of quality, a synonym for exciting, challenging, kick-ass comic books. And his landmark Batman & Question runs were most especially influential for me as a would-be writer. RIP to a true legend of comics.

Stephen Wacker

When Denny O'Neil taught the assistant editor training at DC he told us, "In art there are no rules, only guidelines" which is a pretty solid point-of-view. Thanks, Denny.

Scott Williams

The work of the great Denny O'Neil, particularly when paired with @nealadamsdotcom
made such an early impression on me that I made it my mission to acquire some original art from their collaboration. The first John Stewart GL cover art came from that quest.

Shawn Martinbrough

Saddened to hear about the passing of veteran writer and Batman Group Editor Denny O'Neil. I worked with Denny twenty years ago (Jesus, 20 yrs!) when I was the artist on Detective Comics / DC Comics. I finally had the pleasure to meet and chat with Denny in person at the 2014 NY Comic Fest. A warm and gracious man.

Mike Carlin

Seriously sad news this morning…

Health-wise it's been a coupla bumpy years for Denny… but I've known of him for over 50 years– and I've known him for 40… and this still sucks.

Will miss hearing "Michael, me boy" for the rest of my life.

Mark Wheatley

I did this portrait of Denny O'Neil today. It shows him exactly as I remember him looking the first time we met. I met Denny O'Neil at about 4pm on July 2, 1970. I couldn't tell you such a specific time for when I met most of my heroes, but I remember this. I was a kid and my parents had arranged for a family trip to New York, partially so I could attend the July 4th Seuling Con. And I convinced them to take me to tour DC Comics. When we got there, we almost slammed right into Denny and Steve Skeates. Denny was writing Green Lantern/Green Arrow and setting the world on fire. I was a huge fan. He and Steve hung out and talked with me, making jokes, being fun. And later, at the con, they would say Hi! every time they spotted me in the crowd. That was cool. Years later after I started working in the industry, I would see Denny in the halls at DC or over at Marvel and chat for a little while. I remember one San Diego Con at the DC Booth where Denny and I stood together for a couple hours cracking each other up (and a few other creators also pitched in.) That was the time I came up with the Underwater Keyboard – to be used writing scripts while in the shower! Denny thought that was the perfect use of technology, since he always got his best ideas in the shower. About two years ago, Denny and I were part of a signing together. That was the last time I saw him. But he will never be forgotten.

Comics Folk Talk Dennis ONeil

C.B. Cebulski

Comics would not be the same without Denny O'Neil. As a writer, editor and mentor, he set the highest of standards. Denny left an indelible mark on our artform and his legacy will live forever. He may have put down his pen, but the ink will never go dry.

Karen Berger

So sad to hear about Denny O'Neil. Influential, innovative, brilliant writer and editor and lovely human being. An honor & privilege to have known and worked with him. He will be missed.

Matthew Rosenberg

Sad to hear about the passing of Denny O'Neil. Besides amazing work on Spider-Man, Iron Man, & Daredevil, his contributions to the mythology of Batman are unequalled. But for me, Green Lantern Green Arrow is a work that I will always be proud to try to follow in the footsteps of.

Peter J. Tomasi

Another comic book great heads off to Olympus. I had the pleasure of working @DCComics
while Denny O'Neil was there and got to hear him speak about writing comics a dozen times. He leaves behind a helluva body of work at DC and Marvel. Thanks for the stories, Denny, rest in peace

And a big one from Dynamite Entertainment publisher, Nicky Barrucci.

Wow. A true legend has left the world. Denny O'neil. This is going to be long if you're up for reading.

I'm not sure Denny knew the profound effect he has on the medium. (Yes, I said has, as it will always be here). I'd met Denny many times, and he did grace us by signing comics for Dynamic Forces. I remember flying back from the UK, and meeting Denny at Joe Quesada's apartment, and his signing copies of Legends of the Dark Knight #100 after Joe had. That one was memorable not only because how the landmark issue, but more so because Denny came in, chatted, signed, and was a gentleman and thanked me for asking him to sign the book.

Before he left, or as he was leaving and I was walking him out, I don't remember, but I finally got to give him my thanks, and extend the effect he had on me and how important he was in my life. I told him how as a small kid of 13, I would be at the comic store, and seeing copies on the wall of Green Lantern #76, #85, #86, #87, and even the other issues priced outside of what I could afford. How lucky I was that a became friends with a fellow collector, who became my friend, Bruce, and how every time he saw me he would see how I would look at the wall and want those books so bad, for no other reason than the covers stood out, not knowing houw great the stories were outside of my friends at the comic store telling me, and how I'd look at the back issues, and go over those issues over and over again really wanting to see them outside of the bags. So one day Bruce said that I could go over his apartment and read the books as long as I was careful. Wow, I couldn't believe it. So I got to go over Bruce's house a few times, and read them all within a month. Bruce was a medical student so would just study while I read. I have to tell you, my 13 year old self was scared, like you wouldn't believe. And not for any other reason than I was holding comic book gold and I didn't want to damage the books. Remembering the first few pages of Green Lantern #76 gives me the chills with Hal thinking he saved the day, and having trash throwing at him and wanting to hit one of the kids on the street. Hal is full of hubris, and blind to his actions and the effects, but more on that in a little bit. Ollie saying to Hal that if he hits the kid, he'll have to hit Ollie second, and Ollie would hit back, and hard. The surprise in Hal's face, and determination in Ollie's, the script and art were just magic. You could feel the emotion
and passion on the page. I think that at one point Ollie said something to the effect of going to chase a mad scientist, basically stop acting like saving the day via Hal's eyes was actually saving the day. Ollie explained the real world situation, and then started showing and walking Green Lantern through the tenament, and explainging how the tenants lived, and how he didn't understand what it took for them to get through day to day. Ollie tried to open Hal's eyes. And then reading those words at the end of that chapter in Green Lantern #76, how the older gentleman asked "I been reading about you Green Lantern. How you work for the Blue Skins, and on a planet you helped out the orange skins, and you done considerabale for the purple skins, but there's skins you never bothered with, the Black Skins, and I want to ask you, you know, how come? Answer me that Green Lantern?" And all Hal could say was "I .. . . . . can't." And then the rest of the issue Hal worked with Green Arrow to right his wrong and shortcomings by not understanding the world and more importantly, it's people. And Hal relearned a little about himself and humility to fellow man and himself.

And then in the epilogue, Hal being chastized and about to be punished by the Guardians, and apologizing. And Ollie tells Hal he's not a hero, not even a man groveling in front of the Guardians, his masters. Ollie then lectures the Guardians and Hal, and tells them to forget the Galaxy, and to help America. A beatuiful country that was beautiful, fertile, and terribly sick. He talked about children dying, honest people cowering in fear, and riots on campuses. (On so many levels, this is America today.) He talks about a good Black Man, Martin Luthor King, being killed in Memphis, and has it balanced saying that a good white man, Bobby Kennedy, was killed in Los Angeles. Green Arrow chastizes the Guardians for judging humanity without being a part of us. He challenges them to come off their perch to Earth and live among the people to see what they don't understand. And then one of the Guardians comes to Earth, and offers Hal and Ollie a proposition to understand Earthlings, so they go on a road trip. Hal is ready to fly them around, but Ollie insists that they do it in an old truck.

I can't begin to express how having those comics in my hand, for the first time, how much of an impact that they had on me. Maybe it's because I grew up poor and didn't think I could ever read those stories, or maybe they were just so great, or maybe a little of both. I'd like to take the pitty out of this and say it was just because they were great.

I don't know that anyone would be able to tell this story today, not like this, not from multiple points of view. The world is complicated, but everyone wants to see it as only black and white, and there is black and white, but it is also full of grey. Denny and Neal created a story that had those grays. They didn't preach, they walked you through, their goal was to bring awareness to the readers, without talking down to them or trying to force messages. They told comic stories, and that's why these are considered iconic and classics. They told comic stories with a strong message, not a preached message through comics lacking the full story. And that's why fans love them.

The stories were complex and meaningful. They had layers.

And remember when I was talking about Hal's hubris? Ollie had his own. When he was shot with one of his own arrows, and went after the drug addicts, he found Speedy, and just assumed Speedy was there "under cover" fighting the druggies and drug dealers as well. He never saw what was under him. Speedy was a druggie. I was too young to realize or understand the name worked perfectly for the story. I'm not going to make this as long as the #76 breakdown, but I'll hit the high points. When Ollie finds out Speedy is a druggie, he kicks him out of his house, and Speedy goes to look for drugs. You find out that Speedy felt abandoned by Ollie and turned to drugs. After Speedy leaves, when he's looking for more drugs, Green Lantern finds Speedy. And Green Lantern realizes he has no experience with anyone who is a drug addict, and flies Roy (Speedy) to Dinah (Black Canary/Ollie's girlfriend). Along the way, Hal asks Roy why he tried drugs, didn't he know what they did to people and how dangerous they were? Roy responds by saying that his generation didn't believe what Hal's generation said. Roy said that Hal's generation said "War is good, skin-color is important, a man is worth what's in his bank account, why would drugs be different?"

Dinah opens the door, and brings Speedy in (though it's never explained how she went from her hair up like she was going out and a white satan dress, to regular hair down and pant suit in 2 panels  ;-) You see the pain Roy is in, and you then see that Dinah is in more pain being helpless. Roy pushes her away. Dinah holds him as a human caring and helping him go cold turkey. Green Lantern and Green Arrow bust up the drug ring, and then go to Roy's friend who OD'ed funeral. Roy and Dinah show up as Ollie is telling Hal that when it comes to drugs, sometimes he's in dispair. Roy tells Ollie not to give up. Then Roy rips into Ollie telling him how he went cold turkey even with Ollie kicking him out, and with the help of Ollie's friends Hal and Dinah, and not Ollie. Then he punches Ollie. And then explains to Ollie that he wanted to have Ollie share a little bit of pain from what kids who feel abanded, who need help, feel every day. How drug attacks are the sympton, and society attacks the sympton, and not the disease. And that's true today still in more ways than can be articulated here. As Roy leaves and tells Dinah to take care of Ollie, Ollie smiles and cries, and has come full circle himself by realizing his shortcomings.

Issue #87 takes GA and GL in two different directions, and adds to the incredible run. Guy Gardner, the next in line to be Green Lantern, is paralized trying to save school children. The Guardians want another human to be able to take over for Hal should something happen to him. Enter John Stewart. You see him standing up to a biased police officer with an inner strength. The kind of strength of a hero has. The other officer holds his partner's arm and lectures him to back off and that respect has to be earned, and his partner has not earned a nickels worth. Hal talks to John and John says he'll try out being a Green Lantern, and if he likes it, will do so. Another great lesson issue. John gets rid of the mask, stating he doesn't need it. They fly the city, and see a fuel truck about to hit innocent people and a plane. John stops it, but some of the oil hits a racist Senator in the face. John doesn't care as Hal talks to him about it. Later, the Senator is almost "assassinated" and Hal goes after the shooter, but John doesn't. Hal doesn't know why but gets the shooter, and when he comes back, John had captured the real shooter who was trying to create a narrative for the Senator. It opened Hal's eyes, again.

The second story has Green Arrow thinking he can do more for his city as mayor than as Green Arrow. He asks Bruce's, Hal's and Clark's advice, and all which tell him not to. Ollie is conflicted. Then Ollie is in the midst of a riot, one in which 21 people were hospitalized, and 5 killed, including a child. He goes to Dinah's, distraught, and in emotional pain, and tells her he's running for mayor. Another emotionally draining issue.

I think that Denny made the joke that Bruce was my Bruce Wayne. If I was quick, I would have said that maybe some people do call me "dick", so it could fit.

BTW – Can you tell that I read the 4 on the wall from the comic store first? And then the rest later? From Bruce's collection though.  ;-)

Denny and Neal made Green Lantern one of my two favorite DC characters. He also worked on Daredevil with David Mazzucchelli and The Question with Denys Cowan The Shadow with Michael Wm Kaluta and Sword of Azrael with Joe Quesada and Kevin Nowlan, reinvented the Joker with Neal Adams, edited Frank Miller and so much more. I could go down the list of books that Denny was a part of that influenced me from my youth and build the foundation, and I'm sure for many more fans than me and the creators and fans would bring in more fans.

All I can say is, thank you Denny. The comics industry was better having had you in it. Your work and your legacy will live on forever, as it should.

Some 13 year old Italian boy named Nick.

ps – you should google and find some of the books that Denny wrote on creative process, including talking about The Levitz Paradim created by Paul Levitz .

Even Denny's instructional books are timeless. Just like Denny.

About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.