Legendary comics creator Len Wein, who helped create iconic characters like Wolverine and Swamp Thing, has died. He was 69.
Wein was also partly responsible for reviving the fortunes of the X-Men through 1975’s Giant Size X-Men, which introduced a new team of mutants comprising Colossus, Storm, Thunderbird, Nightcrawler, Sunfire, Banshee, and Wolverine.
Born on June 12, 1948, Wein’s passion for comics began in the 1960s, when he and fellow legendary creator Marv Wolfman used to tour of DC Comics office regularly. The duo began writing for DC in 1968, and Wein went on to work on titles such as Teen Titans.
In 1971, Wein co-created one of DC’s most iconic characters, Swamp Thing together with artist Berni Wrightson via horror anthology House Of Secrets #91 (July 1971).
Wein began writing for Marvel Comics in the 1970s, working on titles such as The Amazing Spider-Man, Marvel Team-Up, Thor and Fantastic Four. However, it was when writing The Incredible Hulk that he created his most iconic character – Wolverine, whom he created together with artists John Romita Sr. and Herb Trimpe. The character made his debut in The Incredible Hulk #182 (1974), and has gone on to become one of Marvel’s most popular characters ever.
Wein even served as Marvel’s Editor-in-chief for over a year, and helped co-created other Marvel characters such as Brother Voodoo, The Golem, Jigsaw, Jamie Madrox, Stegron, Thunderbird, and the Wrecking Crew.
In the late 1970s, Wein returned to DC Comics, and worked on various series, including Batman (on which he created the character of Lucius Fox), Camelot 3000, The New Teen Titans, and Wonder Woman. He also edited some of DC’s most acclaimed titles, including Alan Moore’s seminal Watchmen series.
After spending most of his later career in television, Wein returned to DC Comics as a writer in the late 2000s.
Tributes to a comics great
In a statement by DC Comics on its website, Diane Nelson, President of DC Entertainment, said: “Len Wein was one of the most welcoming people and legends in comics from the moment I joined DC eight years ago. He wrote or edited almost every major DC character – there’s hardly a facet of DC’s world that Len didn’t touch. I, DC and the industry will miss him and his talent very much.”
Marvel Comics also paid tribute to the creator on its website: “Len Wein will be remembered for the bold heart with which he infused his stories and characters, as well as his drive to seek out new horizons in his writing. It’s no stretch to say that a comic fan of the 1970s would be hard-pressed to gaze at selection of comics on the rack in that era and not see Wein’s unique championing on their favourite characters—as well as brand-new heroes and villains from his incredible imagination.
Marvel Comics writer Brian Michael Bendis tweeted: “Len Wein, co-creator of WOLVERINE and SWAMP THING & more responsible for the x-men you love than he gets credit for. Thank you. #RIP”