Numerous sources have confirmed the sad news that comics writer Robert L. Washington III has passed away after suffering multiple heart attacks. Washington's resume includes numerous credits from DC Comics and other publishers, but he was best known for co-writing the original appearances of the pioneering teen superhero Static at Milestone Media, where he collaborated with the character's co-creator Dwayne McDuffie and series artist John Paul Leon. Washington was just 47-years-old.Washington worked on such titles as Extreme Justice, The Batman Chronicles, JLA Secret Files, Ninjak and Shadow Cabinet in the 1990s, but the writer had fallen on hard times by the end of the decade. Robot 6 reports that Washington sometimes worked at a call center and catalogue warehouse, but that he found himself homeless several times.

Thankfully The Hero Initiative -- the comics industry's non-profit group dedicated to helping professionals in dire financial and medical straits -- was able to offer Washington some assistance on numerous occasions. Indeed, the writer's last work was for the recently released edition of the Hero Initiative's annual Hero Comics anthology, in which he detailed his deeply unfortunate circumstances and the need to support the organization.


Robert L. Washington III died at Mount Sinai Queens Hospital in New York City. His collaborator Dwayne McDuffie also passed away just over a year ago, he too just in his late 40s. Their work together can be read in the Static Shock: Rebirth of the Cool paperback, available from comics shops and booksellers.