The 63-year-old overhauled the X-Men comic and helped popularize the relatively obscure Marvel Comics in the 1970s. He helped turn the title into a publishing sensation and major film franchise. Many signature characters Cockrum designed and co-created — such as Storm, Mystique, Nightcrawler and Colossus — went on to become part of the "X-Men" films starring Hugh Jackman and Halle Berry. Cockrum received no movie royalties, said family friend Clifford Meth, who organized efforts to help Cockrum and his family during his protracted medical care. "Dave saw the movie and he cried — not because he was bitter," Meth said. "He cried because his characters were on screen and they were living."