Len Wein, Legendary Comics Writer Who Co-Created Wolverine, Dies at 69

Len Wein Dead

Len Wein, the influential comics writer who co-created characters including Wolverine and Swamp Thing, has died. He was 69.

DC Comics confirmed the news following an outpouring of tributes from the comics community overflowed online.


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“Len Wein was one of the most welcoming people and legends in comics from the moment I joined DC eight years ago,” said Diane Nelson, president of DC Entertainment. “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.”

Wein was born in New York City and began freelancing with DC Comics around age 20. His career brought him to Marvel Comics, before returning to DC again. He is credited with reviving the X-Men with artist Dave Cockrum.

In 2008 he was inducted into the Will Eisner comic book hall of fame.

News of Wein’s death prompted many tributes among prominent members of the comics community.

“Not every writer can be a good editor,” said Geoff Johns, president and CCO of DC Entertainment. “But Len deserves equal credit for both talents. He helped to revitalize the entire DC Universe.”

Brian Michael Bendis wrote, “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.”

“RIP the great #LenWein. He co-created Wolverine & Swamp Thing, both of which gave me a living as a writer & endless pleasure as a reader,” Mark Millar tweeted.

“I just learned that my friend and writing inspiration @LenWein passed away this morning. My love and condolences to his wife, @mcvalada,” Neil Gaiman wrote.

Joss Whedon tweeted, “Co-created Wolverine & the new X-men. Co-kickstarted the modern comic book era with its most powerful metaphor. And more. RIP Len Wein.”

Watch an interview with Wein below:

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  1. Bon Hagar says:

    As a kid, I loved Swamp Thing comics and the Berni Wrightson art and the whole of that era. Len Weinberg was a huge part of that fun growing up. RIP both of you.

  2. Timely Comment says:

    A writing comics loss.

    Len Wein jumpstarted the resurgence and popularity of the X-Men by adding Colossus, Nightcrawler, Storm, and Wolverine to the group for Marvel; he co-created Swamp Thing, canonized the untold legend of the Bat-Man (which later was undone by the Burton and Nolan movies), and editorially overlooked Moore/Gibbons’ WATCHMEN for DC.

    It was a gratifying acknowledgement seeing Hugh Jackman call him out and thank him for “Wolverine” in Hall H. And reading the Giant-Size X-MEN and THE UNTOLD LEGEND OF THE BAT MAN pbs provided inviting and engaging entries to the comicbook world…

    Thank you Len Wein. Rest In Peace.

  3. mindyp51 says:

    Len was the second person that I met (after Karen Berger) on that day in 1983 when I first walked into the DC office at 666 Fifth Avenue. While Karen was talking to me about things, Len came by. Karen introduced me. I knew the name was familiar, I knew that I “knew” him, but couldn’t place him. But I fudged–told him what an honor it was to meet him, how much I loved his work–he was gracious and friendly, and remained that way always! (After I got home and went through my comics collection, I was so embarrassed and wanted to kick myself.) Much later, I told him that story of first meeting him. He really got a kick out of it, laughed his head off. He invited me to my first comics poker party. And Len was the first editor after Karen to offer me a chance to write something outside Karen’s books–it was a TALE OF THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS story. He was, simply put, amazing. I am deeply grieved.

  4. John Joseph says:

    He had a long run on Amazing Spider-Man, along with Ross Andru. Fan here. Rest in peace, and thank you for your contribution to Comic Books

  5. Darci says:

    Considering I didn’t even know he was ill, a mention of how he died might be enlightening…

  6. Dave Mowers says:

    Some of the greatest, classic X-Men stories ever written.

  7. Marco says:

    Very sad, i grew up on his X-Men tales, they are among the greatest. Rest in peace, Mr. Wein. My condolences to his family.

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