Marie Severin, Groundbreaking Marvel Artist, Dies At Age 89

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The woman who co-created Spider Woman, Marie Severin, has passed away today at the age of 89. The woman who spent years as an artist and colorist for Marvel Comics and was a 2001 Eisner Hall of Fame inductee, succumbed to the after-effects of a stroke she suffered recently, as reported by Comic Book Resources.

Severin’s career stretches back to the late 1940’s, when she began her career by serving as a colorist for her comic book artist brother, John Severin. She was so skilled as a colorist that John got her a job with the EC Comic Books Line. After EC Comics eventual downfall, Severin spent some time working for Atlas Comics before leaving the industry to begin working for the Federal Reserve.

Almost a decade later Severin returned to Atlas Comics, helping with production. Severin began to have a larger role in the company when Atlas changed its name to Marvel and began to grow, eventually becoming the main colorist and doing some penciling work for Marvel by the end of the 1960s. Severin had an integral role with one of Marvel’s most iconic series, The Incredible Hulk, serving as the penciler for the series’ first five issues.

Severin then moved on to one of Marvel’s lesser known series, Not Brand Echh, something of a parody comic that took advantage of her artistic strength when it came to crafting likenesses. Severin eventually moved on from her role as the lead colorist with Marvel to a role that was more focused on penciling. She would hand that job to a man who would become another legend in the world of comic books, George Roussos.

Severin created her defining legacy, the character of Spider-Woman, in 1976. She was the one who designed the costume you can still see at comic-cons all across the world. Throughout the 1980’s Severin worked for a wide variety of Marvel projects, once again employing her skills in crafting likenesses. When Marvel went bankrupt in the 1990s, Severin was laid off. Severin continued her work as an artist through the mid-2000s.

Severin’s close friend, who was also a former Marvel Staffer, Irene Vartanoff revealed the news on her Facebook page.

Famous figures in the industry paid tribute to Severin as news of her passing spread. DC Comics writer honored her like most, by posting her artwork.

Robert Liefield, the creator of Deadpool and X-force among others said on Twitter, “Rest In Peace, Marie Severin. Uber talented, trail blazing Marvel artist has passed away at 89 years old. Her work is stunning and had tremendous impact on Marvel in the late 60’s early 70’s!”