Some sad news to pass along your way today. Steve Ditko, co-creator of Spider-Man and Doctor Strange, alongside Stan Lee, has died at the age of 90.
The Hollywood Reporter learned of Ditko’s passing from the New York Police Department, who confirmed the Squirrel Girl creator was found dead in his apartment on June 29 but is believed to have perished two days earlier.
For those who don’t know, Ditko and Lee created Spider-Man as we know him today in 1961 because the Marvel Comics editor-in-chief was unsatisfied with Jack Kirby’s take on the idea. The costume, web-shooters and red and blue design all originated from Ditko, who also helped create several classic Spider-Man villains, including Doctor Octopus, Sandman, Lizard and Green Goblin. Of course, the webhead first appeared in Amazing Fantasy No. 15 and was subsequently spun off into The Amazing Spider-Man due to the character’s immense, yet unexpected success.
In 1963, Ditko created psychedelic superhero Doctor Strange, who debuted in Strange Tales No. 110. After that, he went on to work for DC Comics and other small independent publishers due to a spat with Lee. No specific reason’s known for their tiff, but it’s believed to have originated with Lee’s failure to share credit properly.
Dubbed the “J.D. Salinger” of comics by Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson, countless people have taken to Twitter to pay tribute to the icon. Alongside Derrickson, author Neil Gaiman and filmmaker Edgar Wright also paid their respects upon learning of his death, and you can see what they had to say via the Tweets below.
RIP Steve Ditko. You were a true legend and you work will go on to inspire and entertain millions for generations to come.
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
RIP to comic book legend Steve Ditko, beyond influential on countless planes of existence. He never truly profited from his comic creations that have lasted for decades, but his work will never be forgotten. pic.twitter.com/UBZQWpF79i
— edgarwright (@edgarwright) July 7, 2018
Goodbye Steve Ditko pic.twitter.com/DXAkw8BQIk
— Scott Derrickson (@scottderrickson) July 6, 2018