As part of DC’s 75th Anniversay panel at San Diego Comic Con, several DC legends talked with fans. Dennis O’Neil [whose name was misspelled by our source] was thoughtful in his reflections.
On the topic of his role in the ending of the original Azrael series, here’s what was heard:
A fan asked O’Neill why he killed off the character Jean-Paul Valley at the end of the “Azrael” series. As the series was ending, editor Mike Carlin told O’Neill “let’s kill him! And [O’Neill] said ‘yeah alright, I’m cool with that.'”
“At that point as I was working on the last arc, I dropped dead on a restroom floor in the Hudson Valley and I have it on good authority that I was lying a corpse for two minutes until a defibrillator got my heart started and by that time the paramedics had arrived.
“So I was recovering from this heart surgery and Mike Carlin called my wife Mary and said ‘tell him he doesn’t have to kill Azrael, maybe that’s cutting it a little close,” O’Neill said.
“I wish I had written a different ending, it didn’t work, it was too ambiguous. We were just gonna flat out put the son of a bitch in the ground. And Mike Carlin’s compassion prevented that from happening.”
Tags: Azrael, Batman, San Diego Comic-Con