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.