Len Wein, the best-selling comic book writer, and editor who co-created Wolverine and Swamp Thing and edited Watchmen, has recently passed away. He was 69 years old.
The comic book community is responding on social media after Brian Michael Bendis had tweeted out a memoriam message.
Wein’s first comics story was “Eye of the Beholder” in 1968’s Teen Titans #18. He also co-wrote the story with Marv Wolfman and co-created the male Starfire who was then known as Red Star and son of Constantin Kovar.
Creating characters was what Wein would do throughout his comics career. He is known for his two original creations that have altered the landscape of superhero comics. Wolverine was portrayed in Logan and one of the most acclaimed superhero movies that were made. The next is Swamp Thing, which was created for DC’s anthology title, House of Secrets. This was key to the evolution of Watchmen co-creator Alan Moore.
In the 1970s, Wein wrote for Marvel Comics and began with a one-and-done story in Daredevil #71, co-written with Roy Thomas.
He succeeded Roy Thomas as an editor-in-chief of Marvel’s comics in 1974 but turned the job to Wolfman after a year. He returned to writing with The Incredible Hulk, The Amazing Spider-Man, Fantastic For, and The Mighty Thor.
Wein and Dave Cockrum revived the X-Men in 1975 and created an army of characters to populate the book. These included, Storm, Nightcrawler, Thunderbird and Colossus.
After his relationship with Marvel management had soured in the late ’70s, he went to DC as a writer and then became an editor. He wrote runs on Batman and Green Lantern, and collaborated with Dave Gibbons. He worked with John Ostrander and co-wrote the Legends event miniseries where modern-era Suicide Squad was introduced.
Wein worked on The New Teen Titans, Camelot 3000, Crisis on Infinite Earths, Batman and the Outsiders, and All-Star Squadron as an editor.
After the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths, he wrote Ted Kord Blue Beetle series and provided scripts for George Perez’s reinvention of Wonder Woman.
After leaving DC, Wein became an editor-in-chief of Disney Comics in the early 1990s.
He then headed to TV and served as a writer and editor on Batman, X-Men, Street Fighter, Spider-Man and more. In 2001, Wein and Wolfman wrote a screenplay “Gene Pool” for the Helkon. In 2005 and 2006, he appeared as a panelist on the Los Angeles theatre version of What’s My Line?.
Wein and Wolfman went on to write a one-shot titled Gene Pool for IDW which was based on an unproduced screenplay. He also worked on Conan: The Victorian, The Book of Thoth, Futurama, The Simpsons, and Swamp Thing and Legends of Tomorrow miniseries.
Wein had recently undergone many surgeries with his last tweet indicating that he came through a surgery “which went very well,” on September 7.
He was inducted into Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2008.
In 2012, he told ComicBook.com that he was happy that he got to work on controversial Before Watchmen project at DC.
“It’s time somebody did it, especially at the quarter-century mark,” Wein said. “Some of us that were around when it started, may not be around at the next quarter-century mark.”
Wein’s Swamp Thing collaborator Bernie Wrightson passed away earlier this year.