Steve Ditko, co-creator of Spider-Man, Dr. Strange, and others, has died

The comic book industry has lost one of its most influential creators as former Marvel artist Steve Ditko has passed away. The NYPD told the Hollywood Reporter that the 90-year-old artist was found dead in his apartment on June 29. The cause of death was heart disease, according to the coroner’s report.

While writer Stan Lee is the face of modern Marvel comics and is considered the father of many of the company’s most popular characters, a lot of Marvel’s most famous heroes and villains were co-creations of Lee and Ditko.

As the following tweet from IDW writer Steve Horton shows, it is difficult to overstate the impact Ditko had on Marvel and the comic book industry as a whole. Without his contributions, we would not have many of the characters we know and love including some of the most popular members of the MCU.

In a recently released statement, Marvel’s current leadership team praised Ditko’s legendary work and influence on the company and popular culture as a whole.

“Only a small group of individuals can claim that they have effected and redefined not just an industry, but popular culture worldwide,” said Marvel Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada. “Steve Ditko was one of those few who dared to break molds every time his pencil and pen hit a blank sheet of paper.”

DC Comics Publisher-in-Chief Jim Lee also spoked out mourning Ditko’s passing. On Twitter, Lee briefly discussed Ditko’s work at DC and told about the time he met Ditko while Lee was working for Marvel. Lee described Ditko as hard-working, creative, and the type of person who cares less about personal fame or glory than bringing stories and worlds to life.

Aside from Marvel and DC, Ditko worked for several smaller comic publishers as well and created his own original characters separate from those he created for Marvel and DC. Perhaps, the most famous was a superhero known as Mr. A who would later influence Ditko’s work on DC’s Question.

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