Werner Roth (comics)

Werner Roth (January 27, 1921 – June 1973)[1][2] was an American comic book artist, perhaps best known for immediately succeeding Jack Kirby on Marvel Comics' The X-Men.

Werner Roth
Born(1921-01-27)January 27, 1921
DiedJune 1973 (aged 52)
Pseudonym(s)Jay Gavin
Notable works
The X-Men
Lorna, the Jungle Girl

Roth's work began appearing in Marvel Comics, then known as Atlas Comics, in 1953. Atlas editor Stan Lee has described being impressed with Roth's portfolio, particularly his drawings of women, "So I took his samples to show [then-publisher] Martin Goodman. I suggested we should use Werner, even create a comic for him. Which we did, and that was how Lorna, the Jungle Girl was born."[3] Roth drew the first dozen issues of Lorna. He drew a number of other features for Atlas, including most of the stories of the Apache Kid. He later drew romance stories for DC Comics.

Roth returned to Marvel to work on the X-Men in 1966, initially using the pseudonym Jay Gavin, taken from the names of his two sons, to conceal his Marvel work from his editors at DC.[4][5] His true name was revealed in the "Bullpen Bulletins" page of Fantastic Four #54. X-Men series writer Roy Thomas later commented that Roth, though a talented artist, was a poor fit for the X-Men, being more oriented towards character interactions and relationships than action.[6]

Roth later drew more Western comics for Marvel, and penciled issues of Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane for DC Comics.


  1. ^ Social Security Death Index for Werner Roth, which gives "State of Issue" as Massachusetts, and notes "Last known residence - State: Unknown". Accessed January 5, 2012.
  2. ^ Werner Roth at the Lambiek Comiclopedia. Accessed February 15, 2009.
  3. ^ Wright, Nicky (2000). The Classic Era of American Comics. London, UK: Prion Books Limited. p. 166.
  4. ^ Ro, Ronin (2004). Tales to Astonish: Jack Kirby, Stan Lee and the American Comic Book Revolution. Bloomsbury USA. p. 82. ISBN 1-58234-345-4.
  5. ^ Evanier, Mark (April 14, 2008). "Why did some artists working for Marvel in the sixties use phony names?". P.O.V. Online (column). Archived from the original on November 25, 2009. Retrieved July 28, 2008.
  6. ^ O'Neill, Patrick Daniel (August 1993). "'60s Mutant Mania: The Original Team". Wizard: X-Men Turn Thirty. pp. 76–77.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Jack Kirby
Uncanny X-Men artist
Succeeded by
Neal Adams