Darwyn Cooke, DC Comic Book Artist, Dead At 53

DC Comics has lost one of its own.

Darwyn Cooke, an artist famous for his published works, has passed away at the age of 53 on May 14 due to cancer. According to Entertainment Weekly, it was reported that the news came on his blog.

“We regret to inform you that Darwyn lost his battle with cancer early this morning at 1:30 a.m. ET. We read all of your messages of support to him throughout the day yesterday. He was filled with your love and surrounded by friends and family at his home in Florida.”

Darwyn Cooke had been working on his artistry for characters like Batman and Superman since 1985. It’s no news that DC Comics has gotten much buzz as of late, especially with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice having been released recently. Cooke was a part of that legacy, and it was his artistry that captivated and helped push characters like Batman and Superman into the limelight. His published works started with a short story titled New Talent Showcase #19. He vanished from the face of the comic book world for 15 years, but his departure wasn’t for long. Warner Bros. Animation hired Cooke in the early 1990s, where he would join the team as a storyboard artist for Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series.

Darwyn Cooke’s work wouldn’t stop there. In 1999, he created the main title design for the series Batman Beyond. Later, Darwyn became a director for Sony Animation. More specifically, he was director of Men in Black: The Series. As you can see, Cooke was behind the scenes and behind the pen of many a face if you’re familiar with weekday and weekend cartoons.

Many fans have been showing support to Cooke’s family and friends, some going so far as to recall their experiences with him at events such as Baltimore Comic Con and Wonder Con.

The report of Darwyn Cooke’s cancer first came on Friday via his wife, Marsha. She took to Cooke’s blog, informing fans and followers of his condition.

“It is with tremendous sadness that we announce Darwyn is now receiving palliative care following a bout with aggressive cancer. His brother Dennis and I, along with our families appreciate the outpouring of support we have received. We ask for privacy as we go through this very difficult time.”

Unfortunately, Darwyn Cooke would later pass away.

It was after his Men in Black: The Series work that Cooke became a part of DC Comics. He revamped the character Catwoman alongside writer Ed Brubaker. Afterward, he turned his talents toward writing and drawing for a project called DC: The New Frontier and Solo. The first was published in 2004 by DC Comics and it went on to have multiple editions. It was also turned into an animated movie on February 26, 2008, titled Justice League: The New Frontier. The other project, Solo, would only reach 12 issues. Still, Cooke received the Eisner Award for “Best Single Issue” for Solo’s #5.

Darwyn Cooke impacted the lives of many, evidenced by statements from those who work under the DC Brand. Co-Publisher Dan DiDio had this to say about Cooke’s life.

“Darwyn Cooke lived life like a character from a Mickey Spillane novel, a throwback to a bygone era that was, more than occasionally, reflected in his work. He was both compassionate and combative, approaching everything he did with a tenaciousness and temerity that is now unheard of in a world afraid to offend.”

Truly, Darwyn will be missed.

What is your experience with Darwyn Cooke? Did you get to meet him in person or recognize his works? Let us know in the comments below.

[Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images]