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 Len Wein - Writer, Penciller, Colorist, Editor
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Posted - 12/12/2009 :  08:59:34 AM  Show Profile  Visit Richv1's Homepage  Reply with Quote Bookmark and Share

Len Wein
Writer for Human Target
Publisher by: DC
Interviewed by: Richard Vasseur
Posted: (12/12/2009)

RV: What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment in the comics field?

LW: My sheer longevity, I think. That and creating characters that have gone on to be so successful in other mediums, the New X-Men, Swamp Thing, the Human Target, Lucius Fox. It's a bit daunting to realize that, in Wolverine, I've probably created the second most familiar Marvel character, right after Spider-Man. I say that because, if you look at Marvel's commercial promotion, the two most dominant figures are always Spider-Man and Wolverine. Now, if only I saw any money from Wolverine, that would be special.

RV: How did you go from writing comics to being on the game show What's My Line?

LW: Basically, they asked me. I'm a longtime fan of classic game shows and, when I discovered my good friend, Music Geek Andy Zax, was a recurring panelist on a live revival of the show, I went to watch him in action one night. At the show's end, they asked the audience, if anyone had an interesting occupation, to drop them a line and let them know. I did so, they asked me to be a contestant, liked the way I handled myself, liked the audience's reaction to me, and asked me if I'd be interested in becoming a panelist. My response was to ask who I'd have to kill to get the job. It was one of the most fun experiences of my life, sitting in what had once been Bennet Cerf's seat, for three years. I'm sorry it finally came to an end.

RV: How did you come about co-creating Nightcrawler, Storm and Colossus?

LW: Again, basically, they asked me. Marvel had intended to revive the X-Men as an international group of heroes for quite some time. One of the reasons I made Wolverine a mutant when I created him was to give whoever wound up with the new X-Men assignment a Canadian character to work with if they so chose. I never realized the person who would eventually get the gig would be me. The late, much-missed Dave Cockrum was assigned to draw the title, so he and I sat down with a large book of character sketches he'd done over the years to see if there was anything we could cull for the new X-Men book. We settled on the basic forms of what would become Colossus and Nightcrawler, but the character who would become Storm was originally two separate characters, a male with weather powers and a female black cat type character. When neither one seemed to be working out on their own, then-editor Roy Thomas suggested combining them and thus was born Storm.

RV: Did you enjoy writing Justice League of America and do you have a favorite character from the team?

LW: Every time. It was great fun to be asked back to do a new JLA arc after so many years. I hope to do so again. As to favorite characters, at one end of the spectrum, it's definitely Batman, at the other end, Plastic Man. I just love the visual possibilities of both characters.

RV: How did it feel when you were inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame?

LW: A little overwhelming, frankly. I always assumed you had to be dead to get into the Hall of Fame. :-) No, seriously, it is one of the paramount honors of my career. Especially when yo consider my career is not over.

RV: What other comic related events do you have planned for the future?

LW: Well, I'm doing a six-issue Human Target mini-series for DC to tie into the new TV series, which I'm also supposed to be writing for eventually. I'm doing a new year-long series to commemorate DC's 75th Anniversary, which I can't really talk about in any detail yet. I've been writing episodes of the animated series Ben 10: Alien Force, and I'm about to write my first episode of the Marvel Super-Hero Squad Show. So, as I mentioned, I'm pretty busy.

RV: If you could have one super power what would it be and why?

LW: Well, with my lifelong health problems, I'd probably have to go with a healing factor like Wolverine.

RV: How can someone contact you?

LW: Through my blog at

RV: Any last words of wisdom?

LW: Always look both ways before crossing the street and wear clean underwear. You know what your mother told you.

Richard Vasseur
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