Comics artist Steve Ditko, who together with Stan Lee created one of comic books’ most popular superheroes, Spider-Man, has died. He was 90.
The Hollywood Reporter reported that Ditko was found dead in his apartment on June 29, and is believed to have already been dead for two days before the discovery of his body.
The chief medical examiner of the The New York Police Department listed the cause of death as “arteriosclerotic and hypertensive cardiovascular disease”.
While Ditko is revered in the comics industry as a legendary artist, arguably his greatest achievement was creating Spider-Man’s iconic red and blue costume in 1961 after being assigned by Lee, then the editor-in-chief at Marvel Comics, who was not happy with fellow comics legend Jack “The King” Kirby’s take on character. The character made its debut in Amazing Fantasy #15 in 1962.
Besides the hero himself, Ditko also co-created some of his more iconic rogues, including Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Sandman and the Lizard.
Throughout his career at Marvel, Ditko also drew other superheroes like The Hulk and Iron Man.
In 1963, he and Lee came up with yet another of Marvel’s popular superheroes: the Master of the Mystic Arts, Doctor Strange, who would go on to have his own movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and play a huge role in this year’s mega-blockbuster Avengers: Infinity War. He also created Squirrel Girl, who is enjoying a cult following among Marvel fans currently.
Ditko also worked for DC Comics when it was still known as Charlton Comics. At Charlton/DC, he helped create Captain Atom in 1060 together with Joe Gill, the Creeper in Showcase #73 (1968) with Don Segall, Hawk and Dove in Showcase #75 (1968), with Steve Skeates, and Shade, The Changing Man in 1977, among others.
Notoriously reclusive throughout his life, Ditko never married and has no known survivors.