We’re sad to hear and report that prolific writer, artist, and all-around comics legend Keith Giffen has died. The initial announcement was posted to his Facebook page on the evening of October 11, with a dry and morbidly comical update that fit Giffen’s well-known sense of humor:
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Shortly after, long-time DC editor Paul Levitz confirmed that Giffen had indeed passed, after suffering a stroke.
As a dual threat through writing and penciling, Giffen was the mad genius behind characters like Lobo, Rocket Raccoon, Ambush Bug, and the Jaime Reyes Blue Beetle alongside fellow creators Roger Stern, Bill Mantlo, John Rogers, and Cully Hamner, respectively. He also worked on well-received stories for characters such as Doctor Fate, the Legion of Super-Heroes, OMAC, and various aspects of Jack Kirby’s Fourth World creations.
It was his frequent collaborations with fellow writer J.M. DeMatteis that truly showcased his deft balance of humor and heart, as the duo wrote Justice League International and helped establish the brilliant chemistry between heroes Booster Gold and Blue Beetle. Giffen’s work on Batman was typically relegated to team books such as JLI, but he, DeMatteis, and artist Kevin Maguire created one of the most famous sequences in Batman’s history when they had the Dark Knight knock out the mouthy Green Lantern Guy Gardner with “one punch” in 1987’s Justice League #5.
He was 70.