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Herb Trimpe, longtime Marvel Comics artist and the co-creator of Wolverine, has passed away at the age of 75.
His cousin, Glen Baisley, wrote Tuesday morning, “I wanted to share some very sad news with everyone. Monday night, Herb passed away.” The death was a surprise—Baisley noted that Trimpe had just this weekend been talking to fans about his work, and Baisley was planning to film a documentary about his career.
Trimpe is best known to fans for his work on The Incredible Hulk, a series he drew from 1968 to 1975. It was during that run that he drew the first appearance of Wolverine (in Hulk #180), who would later go on to become one of the company’s cornerstone characters thanks to his appearances in the successful X-Men family of titles.
In a statement, Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso said, “To me, no artist is as synonymous with the Incredible Hulk as Herb Trimpe, who gave the Jade Giant a sense of pathos and scale that set the bar for every artist that followed him. Like a Hulk-punch, Trimpe’s art truly exploded off the page. Comics lost a giant.”
Trimpe went on to work on a number of different titles for Marvel, including the first issue of its licensed G.I. Joe, the majority of the company’s Godzilla and Shogun Warriors series. He also had runs on Iron Man, Ant-Man and Captain Britain, for which he co-created the character of Elizabeth Braddock, who’ll be played by Olivia Munn in next year’s X-Men: Apocalypse.
Trimpe was fired by Marvel in the 1990s, something he wrote about for The New York Times, noting that “revenge is still in my heart” due to his treatment by the company. He returned to higher education, gaining a BA in art and eventually moving on to teaching at a local school in New York state, but he kept a foot in the comic book business, working on covers for a number of publishers, and even returning to Marvel for a 2008 Hulk story.
He is survived by his wife, Patricia, and four children.
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