Sunday, October 15, 2023

Remembering Keith Giffen, 1952-2023

One of the creators most influential to my appreciation of superhero comics passed away this week, as the world lost Keith Giffen on Monday 10/9.  I first saw this on Bleeding Cool News, and it seems as if Rich Johnston may have been the first to report on it there.  Giffen is the creator of Ambush Bug and co-creator of Rocket Raccoon, Lobo, and Jaime Reyes.  Most crucially, Giffen had an unforgettable run taking the Justice League into uncharted territory during the Justice League International era, following the Legends crossover series.

Giffen at GalaxyCon Richmond in 2019, by John Manard, CC-BY-SA 2.0

In true BWAHAHAHA fashion, Giffen's family posted this to his Facebook page at his request:

What a blessing to be able to know this man's work.

The Justice League comics of Giffen, JM DeMatteis, Kevin Maguire, et al., are among the most beloved stories of my formative years as a fan of comic book superheroes.  While I was familiar with the Super Friends and aware that the JL of decades past had featured the heaviest hitters of the DC universe, as far as I knew, the Justice League was meant to be this ragtag band of misfits (to use a cliché) that struggled, argued, and threw out quip after quip while fighting the bad guys.  I can still remember purchasing Justice League #3 on a family trip and being carried away by it in the event that could easily be seen as a starting point for my existence as a comic book lifer.

Mr. Giffen was one of...if not THE...first comic book writer(s) whose name I actually knew.  His genius will live on through his creations and through the remarkable characterization he helped to give to the creations of many others.  He will be missed.

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