Steve Ditko, comic book legend & co-creator of Spider-Man, dead at 90
Artist Steve Ditko, a titan in the world of comics books has passed away. The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed the news, revealing that Ditko passed last week on, though the news of his passing has just now been confirmed by the New York Police Department.
Comics fans and writers took to Twitter to express their sadness over his passing:
Steve Ditko was one of the most amazing creators in the history of comics, and showed us there is a hero in all of us. Our hearts go out to his loved ones, and everyone who knew him. pic.twitter.com/ukvuA7odF5
— DC (@DCComics) July 7, 2018
Steve Ditko was true to his own ideals. He saw things his own way, and he gave us ways of seeing that were unique. Often copied. Never equalled. I know I’m a different person because he was in the world. pic.twitter.com/2GFSA86Btj
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) July 7, 2018
Goodbye Steve Ditko pic.twitter.com/DXAkw8BQIk
— Scott Derrickson (@scottderrickson) July 6, 2018
I spoke to Steve ditko on the phone once. I’ve talked about it often. I got to thank him for creating Spider-man and putting food on my table. I hope he really heard me
— BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS (@BRIANMBENDIS) July 6, 2018
Spider-Man, Dr. Strange, Squirrel Girl, Mr. A, Speedball, and so many others. RIP Steve Ditko, creator of heroes and infinite wonders. pic.twitter.com/Lj4DEzn4yd
— Paul_Dini (@Paul_Dini) July 7, 2018
Ditko began drawing and publishing comics in the 1950s, working alongside the likes of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. In the middle of the decade he found work with Atlas Comics, the precursor to Marvel, drawing stories in the classic Journey into Mystery and Strange Tales comics.
After years of working on those other titles, Ditko was enlisted by Stan Lee to help him create a new superhero character, who would become Spider-Man. Spidey made his debut in Amazing Fantasy #15 in August 1962, and Ditko continued to draw the webslinger in his regular monthly book from issues #1 through #38. Along the way, Ditko co-created many fan favorite villains including Doctor Octopus, Vultue, Electro, Scorpion, Kraven the Hunter, The Lizard, Mysterio, Sandman, and The Green Goblin. Other pillars of Spider-Man continuity created by Ditko include Aunt May, J. Jonah Jameson, Flash Thompson, Betty Brant, Harry Osborn, and Mary Jane Watson. Pivotal moments from Ditko’s run on the character have been translated into scenes for the character’s many feature films most notably the scene from Spider-Man: Homecoming where Peter lifts himself out of the rubble that sits on top of him which comes from Amazing Spider-Man #33.
Ditko’s fingerprints are all over other Marvel Comics characters as well, as he also co-created the Sorcerer Supreme with Stan Lee, Doctor Strange, along with his villains Dormammu and Baron Mordo. In addition, Ditko co-created The Hulk villain The Leader, all of whom have appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Later in his career, Ditko left the House of Ideas to work at their Distinguished Competition, DC Comics. While there, He co-created other key characters in the DCU like The Creeper and duo Hawk and Dove. Furthermore, Ditko had a long career at Charlton comics, creating superheroes like the Ted Kord version of the Blue Beetle along with Captain Atom and The Question. The creation of those characters would go on to inspire the characters Doctor Manhattan and Rorschach from the seminal comic series, Watchmen.
Steve Ditko officially retired from mainstream comic books in the late 1990s but has remained active in publishing his own independent comics as recently as 2016.