Len Wein, the comic book writer and artist best known for his pivotal work on Marvel’s X-Men books and devising DC Comics’ pioneering eco-hero Swamp Thing, has died aged 69. He had suffered ill-health for some time, undergoing major heart surgery in 2015.
Wein was a comics super-fan long before he was a comics creator.
In a 2003 Comics Bulletin interview, he said that he was ‘a very sickly kid.’
“While I was in the hospital at age seven, my dad brought me a stack of comic books to keep me occupied. And I was hooked. When my eighth grade art teacher, Mr. Smedley, told me he thought I had actual art talent, I decided to devote all my efforts in that direction in the hope that I might someday get into the comics biz.
Working first at Marvel and later at DC Comics, Wein had a hand in some of the key developments in later superhero lore, including the creation of The X-Men’s hugely popular clawed brawler Wolverine, who has appeared in nine feature films to date.
Blessed to have known Len Wein. I first met him in 2008. I told him - from his heart, mind & hands came the greatest character in comics. pic.twitter.com/cFqL1uy0JV— Hugh Jackman (@RealHughJackman) September 11, 2017
As an editor, Wein also worked on the hugely influential Alan Moore-Dave Gibbons series Watchmen, which also went on to spawn a major feature film.
Mr Wein and his wife Christine Valada lost their California home, as well as their beloved family dog, in a fire in 2009. Christine later appeared on the US TV gameshow Jeopardy! and won over $60,000 which she vowed to use to help replace some of the property the couple had lost.