The comic book and movie industry is in mourning today after one of the great writers has passed away. Len Wein, who co-created the Wolverine for Marvel, Swamp Thing for DC Comics and many more, passed away today at the age of 69. No exact cause of death was given at this time, and it remains unclear when more official details will be released. Here's what fellow comic book writer Brian Michael Bendis had to say on social media about Len Wein.
"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. Btw he was VERY kind to me when i first started at marvel. Encouraging and shiny. Sadly, Not all his peers are. He was inspiring."
The statement on Brian Michael Bendis Twitter did not reveal a cause of death and it is unclear if there will be an autopsy performed or not. Len Wein was born June 12, 1948 in New York City, New York, USA as Leonard Norman Wein, raised by a Jewish family. When Len fell ill as a seven year old boy, his father brought him a stack of comic books to keep him occupied in the hospital, and he got hooked at an early age. Len Wein and his childhood friend Marv Wolfman would take monthly tours of the DC Comics building, and it didn't take long for the pair to start working at DC.
DC Comics editor Joe Orlando hired both Wolfman and Wein as freelance writers. Wein made his professional comic writer debut with "Eye of the Beholder" in DC's Teen Titans No. 18 (Dec. 1968), for which he co-created with Wolfman Red Star, the first official Russian superhero in the DC universe. Neal Adams was called upon to rewrite and redraw a Teen Titans story which had been written by Wein and Wolfman. The story, titled "Titans Fit the Battle of Jericho!", would have introduced DC's first African American superhero but was rejected by publisher Carmine Infantino. The revised story by the late writer ultimately appeared in Teen Titans No. 20 (March-April 1969).
Later that year, Wein was writing anthological mystery stories for DC's The House of Secrets and Marvel's Tower of Shadows and Chamber of Darkness. He additionally began writing for DC's romance comic Secret Hearts and the company's toyline tie-in Hot Wheels; Skywald Publications' horror-comics magazines Nightmare and Psycho and its short-lived Western comic books The Bravados and The Sundance Kid; and Gold Key's Mod Wheels, Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery, the toyline tie-in Microbots, and the TV-series tie-ins Star Trek and The Twilight Zone. Len Wein is survived by his wife M. Christine Valada.