Len Wein is one of those creators that’s so influential that you know his work whether you’re conscious of it or not. DC Comics confirmed the creator passed away after nearly half a century in the comics industry at 69 years of age.
“Len Wein was one of the most welcoming people and legends in comics from the moment I joined DC eight years ago,” said DC Entertainment president Diane Nelson. “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. Our love and prayers go out to Christine, his family, and his fans.”
Len belongs on the Mt. Rushmore of comic creators
Len Wein joined the comic-book world back in the late 60s. One of his earliest works was the co-creation of the Swamp Thing in 1971. In 1975, though, Wein and artist Dave Cockrum revived the X-Men and created many of the characters that, today, are iconic and unforgettable members of the team. Nightcrawler, Storm and Colossus are all in that list. Wein co-created perhaps the most famous – and filmable – of all the X-Men: Wolverine. Along with artists John Romita Sr. and Herb Trimpe, Wein helped bring the grumpy, stumpy, cigar-chomping Canadian to life. He ended up not just being a huge hit with comic-book fans, but one of the first iconic characters to cross over from page to screen. Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, and Wolverine. It’s a pretty short list.
Wein moved to DC Comics later on and worked on both Batman and the Green Lantern and worked on huge comic events like DC’s Crisis on Infinite Earths and Watchmen, where he worked as an editor for writer Alan More and artist Dave Gibbons.
Wein then made the jump to television, where he worked on shows like X-Men and Batman: The Animated Series, before heading back to DC to work on titles such as the Before Watchmen project.
Whether you came at comics in the 70s and 80s, or approached them through the animated series from the 1990s, every superhero fan felt Len Wein’s influence.