34 Facts About Dennis O'Neil


Dennis Joseph O'Neil was an American comic book writer and editor, principally for Marvel Comics and DC Comics from the 1960s through the 1990s, and Group Editor for the Batman family of titles until his retirement.


In 1989, Dennis O'Neil launched the Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight series, and was the writer for the "Shaman" and "Venom" stories.


Dennis O'Neil led the Batman creative teams for the Batman: Knightfall story arc.


Dennis O'Neil co-created the antihero Azrael in 1992, who temporarily became the new Batman during Knightfall.


Dennis O'Neil sat on the board of directors of the charity The Hero Initiative and served on its Disbursement Committee.


Dennis O'Neil was born into an Irish Catholic household in St Louis, Missouri on May 3,1939.


Dennis O'Neil graduated from Saint Louis University around the turn of the 1960s with a degree centered on English literature, creative writing, and philosophy.


Dennis O'Neil wrote bi-weekly columns for the youth page, and during the slow summer months he filled the space with a series on the revival of the comics industry.


When Roy Thomas left DC Comics to work for Stan Lee at Marvel Comics, he suggested that Dennis O'Neil take the Marvel writer's test, which involved adding dialogue to a wordless four-page excerpt of a Fantastic Four comic.


When Marvel's expansion made it impossible for Lee to continue writing the company's entire line of books, Lee passed as much on to Roy Thomas as he could, but still needed writers, so Dennis O'Neil took the reins for a short-term run of Doctor Strange stories in Strange Tales, penning six issues.


The available jobs writing for Marvel petered out fairly quickly, and Dennis O'Neil took a job with Charlton Comics under the pseudonym of Sergius O'Shaugnessy.


One approach centered on the creation of new characters, and Dennis O'Neil scripted several issues of Beware the Creeper, a series starring a new hero, the Creeper, created by artist Steve Ditko.


Dennis O'Neil's 1970s run on the Batman titles, under the direction of editor Julius Schwartz, is perhaps his best-known endeavor, getting back to the character's darker roots after a period dominated by the campiness of the 1960s TV series.


In 1973, Dennis O'Neil wrote revivals of two characters for which DC had recently acquired the publishing rights.


In 1975, Dennis O'Neil wrote a comic book adaptation of the 1930s hero the Avenger.


Dennis O'Neil wrote two issues of The Amazing Spider-Man Annual which were both drawn by Frank Miller.


Dennis O'Neil was the regular scripter for Iron Man from 1982 to 1986 and Daredevil from 1983 to 1985.


Dennis O'Neil's run on Daredevil bridged the gap between Frank Miller's two runs on the title, usually with David Mazzucchelli as artist.


Dennis O'Neil introduced Yuriko Oyama during his stint, who would later become the popular X-Men villain Lady Deathstrike.


In February 1987, Dennis O'Neil began writing The Question ongoing series which was primarily drawn by Denys Cowan.


That same year, Dennis O'Neil wrote the Batman: Birth of the Demon hardcover graphic novel.


Dennis O'Neil led the Batman creative teams for the Batman: Knightfall story arc, during which Azrael temporarily became the new Batman.


Dennis O'Neil modeled the series on Arthurian legends, comparing Azrael's quest to discover the truth about himself to the Holy Grail.


However, after Dennis O'Neil suffered a heart attack in September 2002, editor Mike Carlin decided it wouldn't be appropriate to have a character Dennis O'Neil created be killed off.


Dennis O'Neil instead left Azrael's fate vague, preferring to let readers decide what happened to him.


Dennis O'Neil wrote several novels, comics, short stories, reviews and teleplays, including the novelizations of the films Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.


Dennis O'Neil fired writer Roger McKenzie so that Miller could both write and pencil Daredevil, a decision which then-Marvel editor-in-chief Jim Shooter says saved the series from cancellation.


Dennis O'Neil encouraged Miller to develop a believable fighting style for Daredevil, and according to Miller, this directly led to his incorporating martial arts into Daredevil and later Ronin.


In 1986, Dennis O'Neil moved over to DC as an editor, becoming group editor for the company's Batman titles.


Dennis O'Neil said that he saw editing as a support role which should be invisible to the reader, and that if it were his choice his name would not appear in the credits when working as an editor, only when working as a writer.


Dennis O'Neil spent several years in the late 1990s teaching a Writing for the Comics course at Manhattan's School of Visual Arts, sometimes sharing duties with fellow comic book writer John Ostrander.


Dennis O'Neil died of cardiopulmonary arrest on June 11,2020, at the age of 81.


Dennis O'Neil was given a Goethe Award in 1971 for "Favorite Pro Writer" and was a nominee for the same award in 1973.


Dennis O'Neil received an Inkpot Award in 1981 and in 1985, DC Comics named Dennis O'Neil as one of the honorees in the company's 50th anniversary publication Fifty Who Made DC Great.