Spider-Man And Doctor Strange Creator Steve Ditko Dead At 90

The Marvel universe is feeling a lot smaller now.

Steve Ditko, co-creator of Spider-Man, has died. He was 90 years old.

Steve Ditko Spider Man Doctor Strange


According to People magazine, a social worker found him in his New York apartment. The cause of death is said to be arteriosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.

A native of Pennsylvania, Ditko was born in 1927. He would create several characters at Marvel and DC Comics in his long career.

With Stan Lee, Ditko co-created Spider-Man for the Amazing Fantasy #15. As Rolling Stone reports, Lee came up with the name, but Ditko would create the costume, the web-shooters and the Spider-Signal. Soon after, the character’s popularity lead to the Amazing Spider-Man title. During his four year run, Ditko would also receive writing credit for plotting the stories.

Steve Ditko Spider Man

Ditko is known for creating several villains during his time on Spider-Man. Some of these foes include Doctor Octopus, Sandman, Lizard, Electro, and the Green Goblin. His style includes expressive reactions and emphasis on mood.

Ditko would leave the series after thirty-eight issues of Amazing Spider-Man. The reasons for his departure are not entirely clear. Some say he quit after a disagreement over who the Green Goblin would be, but he would deny this rumour.

Apart from Spider-Man, he is known for co-creating Doctor Strange and Squirrel Girl. His best known artwork includes psychedelic visuals and surrealist backgrounds. Ditko is thought to have drawn Iron Man’s red and gold look, but the identity of the artist is uncertain.

Steve Ditko Doctor Strange


On the DC side of things, he is the creator of Captain Atom, Hawk and Dove, and the Question. His character Mr. A is a more edgy version of the Question. This would have an influence on Alan Moore’s creating Rorschach.

squirrel girl steve ditch

Unlike Lee, Ditko is said to have been a recluse. He did not grant interviews or speak publicly about his work. Ditko is given an onscreen credit in the Spider-Man movies and Doctor Strange.

He is thought to have been single for the whole of his adult life. Nor is he said to have any  surviving family members.

Ditko will be missed.

November 2, 1927 – June 29, 2018

Jonathan Bruce
Jonathan Bruce
I am an English teacher by day and a freelance writer at night. Specialities include news, reviews, opinion and commentary articles. When I'm not teaching, I participate in theatre, building sets and working stage crew as a hobby. I also enjoy reading and having an occasional glass of Scotch.