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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.

Spider-Man
Dr. Strange
Eternity
J. Jonah Jameson
Dormammu
Green Goblin
Baron Mordo
Gwen Stacy
Blue Beetle
Squirrel Girl
Hawk & Dove
Aunt May
The Question
Speedball
Flash Thompson
Ancient One
Harry Osborn
Sandman
Clea
Scorpion
Wong
Chameleon
Creeper
Shade
Dr. Octopus
Etc.#Ditko

— Steve Horton (@tropicalsteve) July 7, 2018

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.

Sad to hear of the passing of the legendary artist and creator Steve Ditko. Beloved for generations– his work was the Quirky to Kirby's Majesty and helped provide the early visual vocabulary in counterpoint to Kirby's power and influence. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/GvH8Mcrxg6

— Jim Lee (@JimLee) July 7, 2018

Of course, he is best known for co-creating Spider-Man but he also ushered in a slew of unique, very personal and eclectic characters for DC such as the Question, Blue Beetle, Hawk and Dove and more. I only met him once back in the hallways of Marvel when I worked there. 2/3

— Jim Lee (@JimLee) July 7, 2018

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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