While the story has only now hit the news, the New York Police Department has reportedly confirmed to the Hollywood Reporter that Steve Ditko was discovered dead in his apartment in New York in June. The genius Marvel comic book artist had passed away at 90 years of age. Among his creations with co-creator Stan Lee, former editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics, were the iconic and well-loved characters of Doctor Strange and, of course, Spider-Man.

Reportedly no cause of death has been given, but Ditko was found in his apartment on 29 June and was believed to have died around two days before.

Marvel mourns the loss of a family member

Marvel today posted a statement on its website to say that the Marvel family is mourning Ditko’s loss.

They stated that the comic book artist had transformed the industry, as well as the Marvel Universe itself and that his legacy would never be forgotten. They passed on their condolences to Ditko’s family and fans at this sad time.

Stan Lee was editor-in-chief at Marvel Comics, but together with Ditko, they created the now well-known character, Spider-Man. As reported by Digital Spy, Spider-Man was first featured in 1962 in the comic Amazing Fantasy No. 15. Everything about the comic character, from his costume to his web-shooters, have been attributed to Ditko.

Other classic characters from the pen of Steve Ditko

It wasn’t only Spider-Man who came from the pen of Ditko, as characters like Doctor Octopus, Green Goblin and the Lizard are also his work. The Doctor Strange character was created by him in 1963, who has famously been played by English actor Benedict Cumberbatch in later years.

In other recent Marvel news, it has just been announced that Nicolas Cage will be the voice of a Spider-Man “Noir” character in the upcoming animated Film, “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse [VIDEO].” The film will feature a whole range of different “Spidey” characters, going right back in time to some of the less-known versions of the super-hero.

Tributes to an amazing artist

The modern-day Marvel Editor-in-Chief, CB Cebulski, made a statement saying it was not possible to put into words Ditko’s impact not only on comics but also on pop culture.

His imagination and ink thrilled his readers and took them on awe-inspiring and amazing adventures. Cebulski said Ditko did not just create comic characters, he built worlds.

Filmmakers, authors and directors also paid tribute to Ditko after hearing the news of his passing, with many moving messages on Twitter, including Scott Derrickson, the director of “Doctor Strange.”