Artist Steve Ditko, who co-created Spider-Man and Doctor Strange with Stan Lee, has died. He was 90.
The New York Police Department confirmed his death to The Hollywood Reporter. No cause of death was announced. Ditko was found dead in his apartment on June 29 and it is believed he died about two days earlier.
In 1961, Ditko and Lee created Spider-Man. Lee, the editor-in-chief at Marvel Comics, gave Ditko the assignment after he wasn’t satisfied with Jack Kirby’s take on the idea of a teen superhero with spider powers. The look of Spider-Man — the costume, the web-shooters, the red and blue design — all came from Ditko. Spider-Man first appeared in Amazing Fantasy No. 15. The comic was an unexpected hit, and the character was spun off into The Amazing Spider-Man. Ditko helped create such classic Spider-Man characters as Doctor Octopus, Sandman, the Lizard and Green Goblin. Starting with issue No. 25, Ditko received a plot credit in addition to his artist credit. Ditko’s run ended with issue No. 38.
In 1963, Ditko created the surreal and psychedelic hero, Doctor Strange. The character debuted in Strange Tales No. 110, and Ditko continued on the comic through issue No. 146, cover dated July 1966.
An enigmatic giant talent who puzzled people by doing a lot of fast work for Charlton Comics at one point. But that was part of who he was. An admirer of Ayn Rand — and in his own right a fierce advocate of individual responsibility — he knew that all work had dignity. He also protected his privacy to an extreme, which was unfortunate because he contained — and created — history that should have been told and preserved and might have inspired others.
Rest in peace. You were another one-of-a-kind.