Veteran comic book creator Keith Giffen, responsible for iconic characters like DC’s Lobo and the Jamie Reyes version of Blue Beetle, as well as Marvel’s Rocket Raccoon, has passed away at the age of 70.
Giffen humorously communicated his departure in a pre-arranged message shared by his family on Facebook: I warned you all I was unwell… But hey, any excuse to skip New York Comic Con. Catch you later, accompanied by a jovial “Bwah ha ha ha ha.”
Paul Levitz, a frequent collaborator with Giffen, confirmed the loss on social media. He praised Giffen as one of the most creatively prolific minds in the comic industry. “Keith’s creative genius was boundless, always overflowing with ideas, Levitz remarked. The duo worked on over 60 stories together, and Levitz fondly remembered how Giffen’s unique ideas elevated their joint projects.
Giffen’s notable contributions include his work on Legion of Super-Heroes during the ’80s and ’90s. He, alongside Roger Slifer, introduced the world to Lobo in the early 1980s via Omega Men. Later in the ’80s, Giffen partnered with J. M. DeMatteis and Kevin Maguire to give fans the Justice League International series, which subsequently led to a spinoff, Justice League Europe.
Before his time at DC, Giffen made his mark at Marvel in the 1970s. Collaborating with Bill Mantlo, he introduced Rocket Raccoon in Marvel Preview. This character eventually became a staple in the Guardians of the Galaxy series and was notably portrayed by Bradley Cooper in the Marvel film adaptations.
In a landmark move in 2006, Giffen, alongside John Rogers and Cully Hamner, revamped the Blue Beetle character as Jamie Reyes, a Latino teenager empowered by an alien artifact. This reinvention bore fruit in Warner Bros.’ Blue Beetle film released recently, marking a milestone as DC’s premier Latino-centered superhero film. Source