Steve Ditko, the artist who created Marvel superhero Spiderman, has died at the age of 90.
His passing was confirmed by NYPD late Friday, one week after his body was found in his Manhattan apartment.
The cause of his death has yet to be ascertained, even as reports claim he died two days before a social worker found him unresponsive.
Ditko was born in 1927 in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, where he developed a love for comic heroes like Batman and The Spirit.
He would go on to study under Batman artist Jerry Robinson at the Cartoonists and Illustrators School in NYC before landing a job five years later at Atlas Comics —a precursor to Marvel—where he met comic book legend Stan Lee.
Both men eventually worked together to create iconic characters like Doctor Strange, Iron Man, and supervillain Samuel Sterns, aka the Leader; however, Ditko is most known for his instrumental role in creating Spider-Man – whose superhero’s signature look; the blue-and-red costume, as well as the web shooters, were reportedly his idea.
He later moved on to DC Comics where he would create characters the Question, the Creeper, as well as Hawk and Dove.
Tributes have been pouring in on social media following the news of his passing…
I am beyond sad. For me, the single greatest comic book artist and creator who ever lived, Steve Ditko, is gone. Thank you for your tireless brilliance and boundless imagination, Steve, you uncompromising genius.https://t.co/aEPolXTIAy
— Jonathan Ross (@wossy) July 6, 2018
Without Steve Ditko there would have been no Spider-Man, no Doctor Strange, no Creeper, no Hawk and Dove, none of the black and white reprint comics I read in seaside resorts as a boy. No The Question (which means no Rorschach). No Mister A. No mystery.
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) July 6, 2018
Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko were practically the architects of what superhero comics would evolve into. Neither got their proper due.
— Jamal Igle™ (@JAMALIGLE) July 7, 2018
Steve Ditko was more than just an artist & a writer, he was a hero. He inspired the world with his work, helping create one of the greatest superheroes ever made, and quite possibly, the greatest fictional character of all time. I'll miss you Steve, thank you for everything… pic.twitter.com/QFwmkN2ZJn
— Evan Filarca (@EvanFilarca) July 6, 2018
RIP Steve Ditko. Think about the design of Spider-Man. Think about how much just that LOOK influenced. Think about how much in mainstream comics that seems familiar is basically Spider-Man done parodied, remixed, and done different. That’s Ditko.
— Mike Drucker (@MikeDrucker) July 6, 2018