Official Press Release
DC Comics announces that renowned editor and writer Dennis O’Neil has retired from his position as Group Editor and remains with the publisher as a Consulting Editor. In addition, O’Neil has signed an exclusive contract with DC as a writer.
“Denny is one of the truly great talents of our field. He has added memorable stories to our canons from his early days on BAT LASH, GREEN LANTERN/GREEN ARROW and BATMAN, to his guiding of Batman through the rigors of ‘No Man’s Land’,” commented Paul Levitz, DC’s Executive Vice President & Publisher. “We understand that 15 years in the streets of Gotham can make a man consider a simpler life. We’re pleased that he will continue to be an active contributor to our comics, and wish him well on this new stage of life.”
O’Neil came to DC in the late ’60s, after breaking in to comics as an assistant editor at Marvel and a writer both for Marvel and Charlton Comics. As a writer, he was responsible for the groundbreaking GREEN LANTERN/GREEN ARROW series, was the primary writer, leading Batman into renewed popularity as the Dark Knight Detective, and also did important work on virtually every other major DC hero. He became a writer/editor in the early ’70s, and produced classic material on WONDER WOMAN and THE SHADOW. He left DC in 1977 for Marvel’s editorial staff, where his responsibilities included editing Daredevil as Frank Miller produced his legendary run on that title.
O’Neil rejoined DC in 1986 as an editor (and later Group Editor when that title was introduced) with a focus on the Batman titles, shepherding their prominence during the release period of the popular Batman films and guiding such popular storylines as “Cataclysm,” “Knightfall,” and 2000’s “No Man’s Land.” Fans voted him Favorite Editor five times at industry publication Comics Buyer’s Guide. O’Neil infused the comics he edited with his trademarks as a writer: social relevancy and political commentary melded with rich characterization and solid action-adventure storytelling.
“In sixty-five years of comic book history, Denny O’Neil has proven to be not only one of the best writers in the industry but also one of the best editors of other writers’ work,” said Jenette Kahn, DC’s President & Editor-in-Chief. “His spare dialogue and his seamless construction have underscored the inherent drama in his stories which deal in sentiment but never sentimentality. Whether investing his scripts with critical social issues or just delivering a rousing good yarn, Denny has set the benchmark for writers to come. We are grateful that as a freelancer he will continue to entertain us, provoke us, inform us and occasionally even dazzle us.”
“It’s been a rewarding and challenging fifteen years,” said O’Neil, “but I have a lot of plans I’ve been putting on hold because the hectic pace of being a comic-book editor hasn’t allowed enough time. The aspect of the job I’ll miss most is the close collaborative effort that goes into the making of a good comic, the collaboration between the editor and the creative teams, as well as among members of the editorial team itself. My new position should give me the best of both worlds.”
During his career, O’Neil has written stories for almost all of DC’s and Marvel’s major titles including BATMAN: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT, HAWKMAN, THE ATOM, Spider-Man, Iron Man, and Daredevil. Of particular note is his work on GREEN LANTERN/GREEN ARROW which is credited with bringing social relevance to comics and THE QUESTION, a series that combined authentic martial arts action with thoughtful plots and is credited with being a forerunner of today’s “mature reader” comics.
O’Neil’s comics work has been only a part of his career. He has edited Newsfront Magazine and has written short stories, articles and reviews for a wide variety of publications including Gentleman’s Quarterly, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, New York, The Village Voice, Coronet, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and Publisher’s Weekly. He has had five teleplays produced, adapted the four Batman movies into comic-book form and is the author of several novels and nonfiction books. One of his most significant achievements was converting ll62 pages of comic-book continuity into a hardcover novel that became a national bestseller: Knightfall, published by Bantam Books.