During the final days of June, we lost a real comic book legend in the form of Spider-Man and Doctor Strange co-creator Steve Ditko. Heard through The Hollywood Reporter – who learned of Ditko’s passing from the New York Police Department – the Squirrel Girl creator was found dead in his apartment on June 29 but is believed to have perished two days earlier.
Dubbed the “J.D. Salinger” of comics by Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson, countless people have been taking to social media and paying tribute to the icon, including author Neil Gaiman, filmmaker Edgar Wright and, of course, the aforementioned Derrickson. But that’s not all, as on Saturday evening, the latest portrayer of Ditko’s legendary web-slinger, Tom Holland, paid his last respects via Twitter as well, saying:
“We all want to leave our mark on the world – this guy crushed it. He made so many people so happy and changed lives – most of all, mine. Thank you, Steve – your life lives on man, thank you.”
In 1961, the late Steve Ditko assisted Stan Lee in creating Spider-Man as we know him today, with the former being credited with the origin of Peter Parker’s costume, web-shooters and red and blue design. Not to mention the man also helped create several classic Spider-Man villains, including Doctor Octopus, Sandman, Lizard and Green Goblin.
Subsequently, Ditko was responsible for psychedelic superhero Doctor Strange, before leaving Marvel 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.
RIP Steve Ditko. You were a true legend, and your work will go on to inspire and entertain millions for generations to come.