Mike Wieringo passed away yesterday of an apparent heart attack. Newsarama has the details.
From all accounts, Mike was a healthy 44-year old vegetarian. All who knew him said he was in great shape. His death feels senseless.
I’ve never hidden my love of the Fantastic Four. When I think of the stories I’ve enjoyed the most, I usually think of a small, elite group of creators who have told the absolute best FF stories. I’ve called them the FF Pantheon at different times. There’s the creators of the series, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, along with Kirby’s best FF inker and the man who really added the polish to the characters for nearly 200 issues, Joe Sinnott. There’s John Byrne, who brought the series to new heights in the 1980s. There’s Walt Simonson, whose short run in the early 90s was both thrilling and funny.
And there was Mark Waid and Mike Wieringo, part of Nu-Marvel’s initiative to revive all of the classic Marvel characters. Waid and ‘Ringo reframed the characters for the new millenium, raised the stakes in the Reed-Doom rivalry , and paid respect to Jack Kirby by revealing his status as, well, God of the Marvel U. Through it all, Wieringo’s art was a winner on the series. To the untrained eye, it was simple and solid, but further looks revealed the skills of a master storyteller. In many ways, Ringo was the perfect answer to the over-rendered Lee-Liefeld clones of the nineties. His work had elements of Art Adams and John Byrne, but Ringo’s style was unique, crisp, and dynamic.
It’s just an awful thing.