CBSN

Steve Ditko, artist who co-created Spider-Man, dead at 90

Steve Ditko, the artist who co-created Spider-Man in 1962 with Stan Lee and the surreal Doctor Strange, has died, the NYPD confirmed to CBS News. He was 90.

Lt. Paul Ng says Ditko was found on June 29 in his Manhattan apartment and was pronounced dead at the scene. No other details were immediately available. 

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Spider-Man (then) Spider-Man first appeared in August 1962 in Amazing Fantasy No. 15. Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko worked together on the cover of Stan Lee's brainchild.

Marvel Comics

While Lee famously thought of the idea for Peter Parker's Spider-Man, The Hollywood Reporter notes that Ditko created the costume, the web shooters, the red and blue design. Spider-Man and 1963's "Doctor Strange" were part of what is known was the "Marvel Age of Comics," the effects of which are still present in blockbuster movies and comics today. 

Born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania on Nov. 2, 1927, Ditko drew for a military paper while serving in the Army in post-war Germany. He then studied art at the Cartoonists and Illustrators School under early Batman artist Jerry Robinson, according to Deadline. He began drawing his first comics in 1963. 

Ditko first teamed up with Lee at Atlas Comics, Marvel's forbearer, in 1955. The pair had a successful collaboration at first, and Spider-Man first appeared in August 1962's Amazing Fantsy No. 15. Ditko went on to create some Parker's most famous nemeses, including Doctor Octopus, Sandman, the Lizard, and Green Goblin.   

In 1963, Doctor Strange debuted in Strange Tales No. 110. 

But, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Ditko and Lee's relationship crumbled and Ditko left in 1966. After leaving Marvel, Ditko drew the characters the Blue Beetle and The Question for indie publisher Charlton Comics and he also did some work for DC Comics.

But he returned in 1979 to Marvel, and he stayed on as a freelancer through the 1990s. One of his last creations was 1992's Squirrel Girl, a cult favorite among comic fans.

Ditko rarely gave interviews after 1970, with The Hollywood Reporter saying he was referred to as the "J.D. Salinger" of comics.