He was present at Eclipse Comics with the artwork of Alien Encounters and Miracleman in the mid-1980s. He signed this work with his birth name Chuck Beckum, which he later abandoned.
Around the same time, he also did a number of pornographic comics, such as Strips, WorldWatch and Hardball.
He was art director at Slave Labor between 1986 and 1989. He was present at DC with Phantom Lady and 'Green Flame'. He drew for Disney's The Little Mermaid limited series, but became best known for his scriptwriting for Marvel's Uncanny X-Men and artwork on Elektra. Austen was fired from Marvel in 2004 after numerous fan-outcry's that asked for him to quit writing. After his firing from Marvel, Chuck took a job in writing stories for DC comics' series; Action Comics but was soon fired there too. Austen is also active in the cinema field. He was the director of Film Roman's 'King of the Hill' (1997).