Remembering Steve Ditko 1927-2018

Steve Ditko passed away last week, and his death was just announced by the New York Police Department. They found his body in his apartment on June 29. According to the Hollywood Reporter, he was dead for two days. The early reporting is that he died of a heart attack brought about by cardiovascular disease. Ditko was a reclusive person, shying away from publicity, and eschewing attention.

Ditko was there at the beginning of Marvel Comics, co-creating one of the most recognizable characters in comics, the Amazing Spider-Man. While at Marvel, he also co-created Doctor Strange. Both characters highlighted ditko’s use of unique hand gestures in telling the story. Ditko had also co-created Captain Atom before that at Charlton Comics. Over the course of his career, he worked at various publishers, including DC Comics. Among his other creations are the second Blue Beetle, the Question,Shade the Changing Man, Starman (Prince Gavyn), Hawk and Dove, the Creeper, Speedball and Squirrel Girl, One of his most controversial creations was one that was apparently the closest for Ditko. Mr. A was a hero that reflected Ditko’s belief in Objectivism, a philosophy most often associated with Ayn Rand.

Ditko has a rich legacy in comics. His influence is seen both in writing and art across many genres, whether it be super-heroes or more alternative comics. Ditko never married and had no children. His nephew also is an artist working under the name Steve Ditko. If all anyone knows of Ditko is the later work he did reportedly only for the paycheck, then the legacy of this man is lost. His influence is farther-reaching than most artists of his generation.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Ditko.