WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Naomi #6 by Brian Michael Bendis, David F. Walker, Jamal Campbell and Wes Abbott, on sale now.
Naomi's superhero career is just getting started, but her journey of discovery is now complete. In Naomi #6, the final issue of the character's first series, she is brought to her home planet -- a parallel Earth -- and learns how to control her powers. She also comes face to face with Zumbado, the villain who is responsible for the death of her parents, and defeats him.
At the same time, just as the book comes to a close and we finally understand where she came from and where she is going from here, we also learn something we didn't know before. For all this time, the character has simply been known as Naomi. Now the creative team has finally revealed her full name -- Naomi McDuffie.
It's no cool new codename, or some exciting birth name, but it is important to know where she comes from before we find out where she is going next. What's more important, though, is how that simple name pays tribute to one of the most important comic book creators in the last 20 years, Dwayne McDuffie.
One of the founders of Milestone Media in the 1990s, McDuffie holds a special place in the industry due to his dedication to diversity and inclusion. He was a co-creator of the black superhero Static and worked on the popular animated series Static Shock. After a comics career that also saw him write Justice League of America, Fantastic Four and other titles, McDuffie died suddenly in 2011 at the age of 49.
The industry has since honored McDuffie by creating the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics, which was first awarded in 2015. Naomi co-creator David F. Walker was a recipient of the award for his work on Shaft for Dynamite Entertainment. Given both Bendis and Walker's dedication to diversity in comics, it makes sense the two would want to honor McDuffie in this way. Bendis even confirmed the reference on social media.
Naomi might be over, but the character won't be going away any time soon. She is due to appear in Bendis' own Action Comics #1015 in September. Given her connection to Young Justice via the Wonder Comics line, it's only a matter of time before she makes an appearance there, too. The final issue of this book also promises her further adventures in Naomi 2, so it should come as no surprise that Naomi McDuffie, and the creator she was named after, are here to stay.