Spiderman co-creator Steve Ditko has died aged 90.
Ditko, who with Stan Lee created Marvel Comics superheroes Spider-Man and Doctor Strange, was found dead on June 29 in his midtown Manhattan apartment.
It is believed he had died two days earlier, according to Hollywood Reporter.
However news of his death is only emerging today with tributes being paid.
Ditko’s cause of death – or details on who called the emergency services – have not yet been confirmed.
DC Comics said: "Steve Ditko was one of the most amazing creators in the history of comics, and showed us there is a hero in all of us.
"Our hearts go out to his loved ones, and everyone who knew him."
Marvel President Dan Buckley said in a statement: “Today, the Marvel family mourns the loss of Steve Ditko.
"Steve transformed the industry and the Marvel Universe, and his legacy will never be forgotten.
"Our thoughts are with his family, loved ones, and fans during this sad time."
Joe Quesada, Marvel Chief Creative Officer, added: “Only a small group of individuals can claim that they have effected and redefined not just an industry, but popular culture worldwide.
"Steve Ditko was one of those few who dared to break molds every time his pencil and pen hit a blank sheet of paper. In his lifetime he blessed us with gorgeous art, fantastical stories, heroic characters and a mystical persona worthy of some of his greatest creations.
"And much like his greatest co-creation, Steve Ditko’s legend and influence will outlive us all.”
Ditko thrilled readers with amazing and awe-inspiring adventures using ink and his imagination.
It was Lee who is said to have come up with the idea of a teen superhero with the powers of a spider.
But Ditko who created Spider-Man’s distinctive blue and red costume and the web-shooters he wore on his wrists.
He left Marvel in 1966 after reportedly falling out with Lee and went on to create superhero The Creeper with DC Comics.
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Some described Ditko as a ‘recluse’ as he shunned the spotlight and avoided publicity for most of his life.
He also refused to appear on air for the 2007 BBC film In Search of Steve Ditko.
Marvel’s Nick Lowe added: “Steve Ditko’s hands and soul are all over the best character in all of fiction.
"He was a pillar of the House of Ideas who not only co-created Spider-Man and Doctor Strange, but many of the best villains in comic book history.
"Steve was the first to make Marvel truly weird, and for that we are forever grateful.”
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