Blue Beetle, Lobo, And Rocket Raccoon Co-Creator Keith Giffen Has Passed Away Aged 70

Blue Beetle, Lobo, And Rocket Raccoon Co-Creator Keith Giffen Has Passed Away Aged 70 Blue Beetle, Lobo, And Rocket Raccoon Co-Creator Keith Giffen Has Passed Away Aged 70

Iconic comic book writer and artist Keith Giffen, the co-creator of Blue Beetle, Lobo, Rocket Raccoon, and the Justice League International, has sadly passed away. We look back at his extraordinary career.

By JoshWilding - Oct 12, 2023 06:10 AM EST
Filed Under: DC Comics

We have some sad news to share today as it's been confirmed that iconic comic book writer and artist Keith Giffen has died at the age of 70. 

The news was broken on his Facebook account late yesterday evening in a post he'd written prior to his passing. "I told them I was sick," Giffen said with his trademark sardonic humour. "Anything not to go to New York Comic Con, Thanx." He ended his statement by saying, "Bwah ha ha ha ha."

Perhaps most fondly remembered for his work on Legion of Super-Heroes in the 1980s and 1990s, Giffen was the artist who helped introduce Lobo in the pages of Omega Men alongside writer Roger Slifer. A brutal villain at the time, it was later he became the anti-hero now rumoured to appear in 2025's Superman: Legacy

He'd later team with fellow writer J.M. DeMatteis and artist Kevin Maguire to launch Justice League International, a tongue-in-cheek series that is as beloved now as it was then. Tonally, it appears to be influencing James Gunn's DCU plans as a version of the team is expected to eventually appear on screen.

Giffen was, of course, also known for his Marvel Comics work and his biggest contribution was the introduction of Rocket Raccoon in the pages of Marvel Preview alongside Bill Mantlo. 

In 2006, DC Comics enlisted him to help overhaul Blue Beetle (Ted Kord had been a huge part of Justice League International) with the introduction of Jaime Reyes. Alongside TV writer John Rogers and artist Cully Hamner, he helped put that character on the map. 

The comic book world has lost another legend after Giffen's passing but his impact is definitely going to live on, whether it's on the page or screen. 

DeMatteis may have put it best when he said, "Keith was one of the most brilliantly creative humans I’ve ever known. A curmudgeon with a heart of gold. A generous collaborator. An old, dear friend. And, as my wife observed, 'He was like a character out of a Keith Giffen story.'"

Our thoughts go out to Keith's friends and family.

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Beer85 - 10/12/2023, 7:07 AM
A very talented guy. Loved his work, read his comics since I was a kid. Very sad news. Thank you for the memories and RIP.
kider2 - 10/12/2023, 7:21 AM
Incredibly sad to hear. I love his work on JL, Legion, Ambush Bug & Blue Beetle
marvel72 - 10/12/2023, 7:28 AM
Lobo is one of my favourite characters from DC.

Thank you Keith R.I.P
dragon316 - 10/12/2023, 7:36 AM
Will mis him
Feralwookiee - 10/12/2023, 8:39 AM
That last facebook post was a laugh!
Rest in peace.
knomad - 10/12/2023, 9:25 AM
I remember Giffin's work very well. His first run on Legion was one of the high points of my comic-collecting years. The Great Darkness saga and what came after were true classics.

RIP Keith
GeneralZod - 10/12/2023, 10:09 AM
@JoshWilding thank you for posting. Sad news. Condolences to his friends and family.
GarthRanzz - 10/12/2023, 10:18 AM
Damn. That is my favorite comic book creator of all time. Five Years Later is my most favorite comic book story. I know people will remember him for his amazing sense of humor but when he went dark...he could go way darker than anyone. Enjoyed the Ambush Bug stuff and Heckler as well. For whatever reason this creator was the hardest for me to ever get to meet...when I did, I was such a 40 year old fan boy and he indulged me in a good 20 minute convo.
johndawg - 10/12/2023, 10:25 AM
So sorry to hear this. RIP Good Sir.
darthgeekboy - 10/12/2023, 10:35 AM
for me, the most memorable thing he ever wrote was Batman punching Guy Gardner.

before reading Giffen, i never knew serious comicbook content could be funny.
MarvelZombie616 - 10/12/2023, 11:57 AM
I loved Trencher from Image comics:

"Making the world safe for: whatever!"

Rest in peace, Keith.
Dunejedi - 10/13/2023, 12:43 AM
@MarvelZombie616 - I loved Trencher so much. It was a visual smorgasbord, and a great showcase for his talent. He really pushed the boundaries of his art on that comic. RIP
st1s - 10/12/2023, 3:36 PM
His work on the LSH, especially The Great Darkness Saga, was one of my all-time favourites. I also have fond memories of JLI, Ambush bug and Lobo, The Main Man.
RIP Mr Giffen, your work was very much admired
FlixMentallo21 - 10/12/2023, 5:10 PM
RIP.

Here is yet another comics legend I would’ve loved to have met. I would’ve asked him if, given the opportunity, what kind of Saturday Night Live sketch he would’ve written.

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