In Memory of Len Wein, The Renaissance Man of Comics

By: Henry Hanks, Contributor     @hankstv /

Comics lost a giant on Sunday, when Len Wein passed away at the age of 69.

There are few areas in the DC and Marvel universe untouched by Wein since the late 1960s. His greatest creations were Wolverine and Swamp Thing, but his influence went far beyond that.

The classic issue "Giant Size X-Men" #1 was a collaboration between Wein and artist Dave Cockrum. Wein brought in his creation Wolverine, along with new ones like Storm and Nightcrawler to make up the brand new X-Men team. Every iteration of X-Men on TV and film has made Storm and Wolverine main characters - the X-Men as we know them owe a huge debt to Wein.

He worked on "The Amazing Spider-Man" and many other Marvel books in the 1970s and "Batman" and "Green Lantern" for DC in the 1980s. He also edited the classic "Watchmen."

Wein also wrote for several beloved animated series like "Batman: The Animated Series," "Spider-Man," "X-Men" (including some of the strongest Wolverine-centric episodes) and "Transformers."

Beyond that, his friends in the comic book world, such as Gerry Conway, Mark Evanier and J.M. DeMatteis have paid tribute to him, not just as a great writer, but as a great man, and one of the kindest people in the industry.

If you have enjoyed comics or media based on comics over the past 50 years, you have almost certainly come across Wein's writing. His concepts and influence will live on forever, and comic book fans owe him a great debt.