Hugh Jackman shot into stardom thanks to his role as Wolverine in 20th Century Fox’s X-Men movies. Now the actor is paying tribute to the man who was partly responsible for giving Jackman that opportunity, Wolverine creator Len Wein, who died yesterday at the age of 69.
Following the lead of Wein’s comics industry peers, Jackman took to social media to share a photo of himself with Wein and to share what he told Wein when they first met in 2008.
“Blessed to have known Len Wein,” Jackman wrote. “I first met him in 2008. I told him - from his heart, mind & hands
Blessed to have known Len Wein. I first met him in 2008. I told him - from his heart, mind & hands came the greatest character in comics. pic.twitter.com/cFqL1uy0JV— Hugh Jackman (@RealHughJackman) September 11, 2017
Wein created Wolverine with artist John Romita, Sr. The character debuted in The Incredible Hulk #181 (after being teased in the previous issue) in 1974. The character went on to join the new roster X-Men in Giant-Size X-Men #1 in 1975, which was also written by Wein and included several more of his creations, including Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler, and Thunderbird.
Wein’s reimagining of the X-Men went on the become a huge success under the guidance of his chosen successor, Chris Claremont, and Wolverine was easily the biggest breakout character. Logan starred in his first solo story, a four-issue miniseries, in 1982. The first Wolverine ongoing series debuted in 1988 and, though various reboots, continues to be published today.
Jackman debuted as Wolverine in 2000’s X-Men and reprised the role through 9 films over 17 years, including six X-Men movies and three Wolverine solo movies, concluding his run with Logan earlier this year. Wein had a cameo appearance in one of those films, 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past.
Marvel Comics released the following statement on Wein after his death:
“We are deeply saddened to hear of Len Wein’s passing, and send our deepest condolences to his friends and family. Len’s contributions to the Marvel Universe as writer, editor, and member of the Marvel family will never be forgotten. He will be missed.”