Legendary comic book writer and editor Len Wein passed away last month, aged 69.
This week, DC Comics ran tributes to Len in all their titles. And today at New York Comic Con, announced that his final story would see print in the upcoming Swamp Thing Winter Special, starring the character he co-created for DC Comics with Bernie Wrightson, and then a few years later, as editor, hired Alan Moore to write.
The story will be drawn from Len’s outline by Kelly Jones, who most recently worked with Len on a Swamp Thing mini-series.
The Swamp Thing Winter Special also features a story by Tom King and Jason Fabok, presumably the art from this tease. So no, not Rorschach. But as editor of Watchmen, I expect Wein would have enjoyed the confusion.
Wein was the co-creator of the All-New All-Different X-Men with Dave Cockrum including Nightcrawler, Storm, and Colossus, as well as co-creator of Wolverine before at Marvel. On the DC Comics end, he was the co-creator of Swamp Thing and hired Alan Moore for the character.
He wrote and edited so many comic books in his decades working in the medium – including editing Watchmen. He was one of the most influential people in modern day comic books, with his best-known characters now earning billions in the movies. He also appeared in a cameo role in X-Men: Days of Future Past, was an editor at Disney Comics, wrote for video games and television, and so much more.
Wein’s career began in comic book fanzines and initially tried to get work in comics as an artist before deciding writing was his strength. His first professionally published work was for Teen Titans in 1968, before working on a range of genres for DC and Marvel, when the comics field was a little wider than it is now. But he would write well-favoured runs on Batman, Justice League and Daredevil before co-creating Swamp Thing with Bernie Wrightson, spent a year as editor-in-chief at Marvel before co-creating Wolverine for the Hulk and then, with Dave Cockrum, introducing Wolverine into the revival of the X-Men which turned an unappreciated superhero property into one of the biggest superhero franchises of all time.
He then moved to DC to write and edit many books through the eighties, including working with the man he had hired to take over Swamp Thing on a certain comic called Watchmen. He also revived and rebooted Wonder Woman with George Perez, revived the Blue Beetle, and wrote the Legends series.
He moved west to become editor-in-chief of Disney Comics for three years before writing animated series, often including superhero characters such as X-Men, Batman, and Spider-Man. And he kept writing comics as he saw his creations gain worldwide fame and fortune. Recently that also included Cottonmouth, the bad guy from the recent Luke Cage TV show. He also returned to DC Comics to write Before Watchmen, including Ozymandias, fixing a plotline that had seen him leave Watchmen 30 years before.
He recently underwent a number of operations, including one that he live-tweeted through.