Comic artist Steve Ditko, who Co-created Marvel's Spiderman and Doctor Strange, died on June 29, 2018, at the age of 90. No reason has yet been given over the cause of his death.
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.
He returned to Marvel in 1979, where he worked on Machine Man and the Micronauts, and he continued working for them as a freelancer in the 1990s. Among his last creations was Squirrel Girl in 1992, who has become a cult favorite in recent years.
Stephen J. Ditko was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, on Nov. 2, 1927. His father worked at a steel mill and his mother was a homemaker. He developed an interest in comics from his father, who loved Prince Valiant, and from the characters Batman and The Spirit, which both debuted as he entered his teens.
After graduating high school, Ditko served in the army in post-war Germany, drawing for a military paper. Once discharged, he moved to New York City in 1950 and studied under Batman artist Jerry Robinson at the Cartoonists and Illustrators School (later the School of Visual Arts).
By 1953, Ditko was getting work as a professional comics artist, including at the studio of Captain America creators Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. Ditko came down with tuberculosis in 1954 and spent the next year recovering in Johnstown. He began drawing for Marvel Comics forerunner Atlas Comics in 1955. He had a successful collaboration with Stan Lee at first, as the pair worked on a number of science fiction stories together.
Ditko is survived by his brother and a nephew. He is believed never to have married.