An accomplished artist in his own right and a staple at conventions even fairly recently, Ayers built a reputation as one of Jack Kirby's favorite inkers, working with the King on titles like Fantastic Four. He unknowingly helped to shape the future of the Marvel Universe as a key creative force behind Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos, a book whose lead characters would go on to appear in films like Captain America: The Winter Soldier and, of course, on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
He also co-created the original Ghost Rider, a Western/horror character who would later be adapted into a horror-tinged superhero.
J. David Spurlock, director of the Wallace Wood Estate, told fans on Facebook:
Rest In Peace Dick Ayers. There have never been sweeter people than Dick and his wife Lindy. Here is a photo from one of my recent visits in which Dick and I collaborated on a few recreations of early, Marvel covers by the team of Kirby and Ayers. Dick had been suffering the last year, from complications of Parkinsons disease. Richard "Dick" Ayers (born April 28, 1924) is an American comic book artist and cartoonist best known for his work as one of Jack Kirby's inkers during the late-1950s and 1960s period known as the Silver Age of Comics, including on some of the earliest issues of Marvel Comics' The Fantastic Four. He is the signature penciler of Marvel's World War II comic Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos, drawing it for 10-year run, and he co-created Magazine Enterprises' 1950s Western-horror character the Ghost Rider, a version of which he would draw for Marvel in the 1960s. Ayers was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2007.