Twenty years ago, Marvel Comics was struggling to stay afloat. The years before “Iron Man,” “Captain America” and “The Avengers” films were tough times for the comic book industry. However, Marvel was able to push through with some of its most popular characters. One of those characters was Spider-Man. The story of Spider-Man is well documented and the character continues to thrill audiences worldwide. Sadly, one of the co-creators of the character, Steve Ditko, passed away this week at the age of 90.
Steve Ditko is best known for creating the iconic web-slinger, but he accomplished far more than that over the years. Ditko began as an artist working under Jack Kirby, and slowly rose through the ranks of various comic bullpens. He began drawing for Atlas Comics in the 1950s, which would later be renamed Marvel Comics. While at Marvel, Ditko would work in close collaboration with both Kirby and Stan Lee. Lee and Ditko would collaborate to not only create Spidey, but also Dr. Strange in 1963. However, Ditko left Marvel in 1966, moving over to DC comics. There Ditko continued to create fan favorite characters, including Blue Beetle. Eventually, Ditko would create an independent comic series featuring a hero inspired by the works of Ayn Rand.
Ditko’s legacy will likely be tied up to the Marvel characters he created, but his work was stretched much further. Ditko’s style was also extremely influential, which helped to develop dozens of comic book artists in the years to come. Ditko was later inducted into Jack Kirby’s Hall of Fame in 1990. Just four years later, he would be inducted into the Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame as well. Ditko was a legend in the industry, and will remain one of the most important figures in its popularization.