Len Wein’s death, last week, affected me on a very personal level. More than any of the other recent deaths from industry legends. I didn’t bother to eulogize Mr. Wein because others did it more effectively than I could have. His numerous credits and awards were well documented. Everyone knows he was the co-creator of Wolverine, Swamp Thing and many of the second wave of X-men. There is no point in me rehashing all of that.
What left me reeling was the impact he had on my young life as a comic book fan. His hand was almost everywhere when I was a kid. He was not my favorite author back then, to be sure, but he was pretty much ubiquitous. Len Wein touched so many titles for both Marvel and DC that I must have read dozens, if not hundreds of stories under his byline. So, even though I might have admired other writers more, for what now seem like childish reasons, there is no denying that my enjoyment of the medium was directly impacted, perhaps sculpted, by Len Wein.
We have lost many greats lately and I have referred to them as giants, titans, legends and other overblown descriptors. I won’t do that for Mr. Wein. I will just say that he was a prolific writer who had an impact on my impressionable young mind that I am only now able to appreciate. It took his death for me to understand how important his work had been to me. I feel his loss keenly and with it, I feel kind of like an asshole for not being a bigger fan when it mattered. I regret now never showing a proper respect for his work. I should have paid more attention. It’s time to dig out those back issues and savor some nostalgia.
He also sings for the Supra-70s band, RIFLE.