R.I.P. Nicholas Courtney and Dwayne McDuffie

In the last 24 hours or so we lost two people who loomed large in the hearts and minds of fans everywhere, Nicholas Courtney and Dwayne McDuffie.

Courtney was best known as Brigadier Sir Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart on Doctor Who, arguably the most famous supporting character in the history of the series (only Sarah Jane Smith challenges the Brig for the title, I'd say). He was primarily known for his adventures with the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Doctors, but thanks to guest appearances, anniversary programs, and spin-off media, he had at least one adventure with each of the first 8 Doctors, got named checked by the 10th Doctor in Season 4, and made one final in-continuity appearance in the second season of The Sarah Jane Adventures. And besides being a memorable character, I hear he was a hell of a nice man to boot. Five rounds rapid, sir. You were a splendid fellow.

And Dwayne McDuffie, well, wow, here was a guy who had success in writing and production for comics, animation, video games, and all manner of other media. He's probably best known in comics for being one of the driving forces behind Milestone Media and their stable of characters like Static (later adapted into the Static Shock cartoon and used in Justice League Unlimited a few times) and Icon, but he did a lot to to help improve the use and treatment of African-American and other racial minority characters in comics besides. McDuffie liked to make sure the Powers That Be realized that black characters were more than just Black Characters, they were, you know, characters, with powers and motivations and whatnot above and beyond their color or heritage. And every now and then, the Powers That Be seemed to listen. No small feat. Damn shame he never lived to see that Static action figure he waited and waited for, just as its a damn shame we'll never see more work from him. He leaves an impressive legacy, but he leaves it for us far too soon.

Best wishes and condolences to the family, friends, and fans of both men. They'll both genuinely be missed.

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