Marvel Legend Marie Severin Dead At 89

Marie Severin

Severin, Comics Trailblazer, Dead At 89

Marie Severin, a trailblazer at Marvel Comics where she was a longtime artist and colorist, died on Thursday morning. She was 89 years old. She was also famous for being co-creator of Spider-Woman. The cause of death was the effects of a recent stroke that landed her in the hospital earlier in the week. The death was announced by her longtime friend, Irene Vartanoff. 

Early Days in the Industry

Marie Severin, artist and colorist
Marie Severin, artist and trailblazer

Severin got her start in comics in the late 1940s, working with her brother John. She started off as his colorist, mainly for his work over at EC Comics. When EC folded in the wake of the Comics Code Authority, she went over to Atlas Comics (a forerunner of Marvel), before working elsewhere. However, by the late 1950s, she was back at Atlas Comics. When Atlas became Marvel, Severin became their main colorist. In a milestone for women in comics, she was one of the first women to draw a prominent title: in this case, The Incredible Hulk. She was also a gifted parodist, becoming a lead artist on some of Marvel’s humor books. Severin remained chief colorist at Marvel until the early 1970s, when she became a production artist. 

Severin and Spider-Woman

Spider-Woman Vol. 1

Severin would take a hand in creating new characters in the 1970s. Her most lasting creation was the original Spider-Woman, aka Jessica Drew; Severin created her now-classic costume. She then moved into Special Projects at Marvel, designing art for licenses. However, she was let go from Marvel in the 1990s due to the company’s bankruptcy. She continued to be an artist through the mid-2000s, when she finally retired. 

Numerous tributes have already begun to flow from the comic book community, who remember her as a masterful artist and a pioneering woman in the industry.


Word of the Nerd would like to offer our condolences to her friends and family at this time of sorrow.

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Daniel Kalban

Daniel is the writer of The Eagle webcomic and aspires to one day join his favorite writers at the Big 2. Until then, he keeps plugging away at various projects, as well as serving as a reporter for Word of the Nerd on various subjects, especially the DC Comics "beat".

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