Stan Lee Pays Respects to Spider-Man and Doctor Strange Co-Creator Steve Ditko

Stan Lee, who co-created famed Marvel Comics characters Spider-Man and Doctor Strange with the late Steve Ditko, has made his first comments since Ditko’s death at the age of 90 was made public July 6.

“One thing occurs to me. I really cannot let the week go without commenting on Steve Ditko,” Lee says in the video published on his Twitter account.

“Steve was certainly one of the most important creators in the comic book business. His talent was indescribable. I worked with him for many years, and was always impressed with how he saw everything in terms of photos and pictures and movement and scenes. He told a story like a fine movie director would. I think that he will be very greatly missed by the public and by his fans, and I’m sure there will be a lot written about him as time goes by and I will be one of the guys who buys the first book. You made a real impression here in the world. Excelsior.”

The Hollywood Reporter was the first to confirm Ditko’s death last week, reporting the longtime comic book creator was believed to have died two days before his body was discovered in his Manhattan studio on June 29. It was later learned Ditko suffered from arteriosclerotic and hypertensive cardiovascular disease and died by way of a heart attack caused by clogged arteries.

Lee partnered with Ditko on the first 38 issues of The Amazing Spider-Man and scripted Doctor Strange’s earliest adventures in the pages of Strange Tales, also partnering with Ditko on multiple issues of Tales to Astonish, wherein Ditko co-created infamous Hulk villain the Leader.

In his time at the House of Ideas, Ditko brought to life such co-creations as Spider-Man enemies Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Sandman, Mysterio, Kraven the Hunter, Chameleon, and the Scorpion, as well as much of Peter Parker’s supporting cast, including Aunt May and Uncle Ben, Flash Thompson, Harry Osborn, Gwen Stacy, Betty Brant, and J. Jonah Jameson. For Doctor Strange’s psychedelic adventures, Ditko conjured such characters as Clea, Nightmare, Dormammu, and Baron Mordo.

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Shortly after his death, multiple Marvel Comics executives and creatives, including Marvel Entertainment President Dan Buckley and Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada, issued statements on Ditko’s death and remembered the reclusive artist as a legend who left an irrevocable impact on pop culture.

Marvel Studios and Marvel talents, including Spider-Man actor Tom Holland and Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson, further paid tribute to Ditko on social media.