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Darwyn Cooke is shown in this undated handout image provide by DC Comics. A Canadian called one of the ‘true innovators’ in the world of comic books and animation has died. Cooke was 53.

DC Comics Handout/THE CANADIAN PRESS

A Canadian called one of the "true innovators" in the world of comic books and animation has died. Darwyn Cooke was 53.

A statement from Cooke's family says he died Saturday morning in his Florida home after a battle with cancer.

Cooke was born in Toronto and lived in Nova Scotia for many years.

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He published his first comic book work in 1985 but economic realities forced him to make a living working for Canadian magazines as an art director and graphic designer.

Cooke didn't give up and in the 90's got involved in animation, working for Warner Bros. and contributing to shows such as "Batman: The Animated Series," "Superman: The Animated Series" and "Men In Black: The Series."

He came back to comic books in 2000 when approached by DC Comics where he redesigned Catwoman and worked on a variety of other projects.

DC Comics has issued a statement saying Cooke's vision was unique and embraced by everyone.

"Once you saw his timeless designs and concepts for Batman, Catwoman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern or any other character, you immediately adopted his jubilant interpretation of these heroes as your own and wanted more," the statement said.

"His take on the most iconic heroes in the world were breathtakingly direct and elegant, powerful and cool."

The DC Comics statement also described Cooke as a man with a "down to earth, no nonsense personality."

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