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Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko dies aged 90

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Marvel Comics artist, along with writer Stan Lee, introduced world to Peter Parker and alter-ego Spider-Man in 1962

“Steve Ditko, the Marvel Comics artist who gave the world the woven webs and soaring red-and-blue shape of Spider-Man and the other-worldly shimmer of Doctor Strange, has died, authorities said. He was 90.

Ditko was found on 29 June in his Manhattan apartment and was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

Ditko, along with writer Stan Lee, introduced the world to Peter Parker and his alter-ego Spider-Man in 1962 in an issue of Amazing Fantasy. A year later, Ditko introduced the world to surgeon-turned-metaphysical superhero Doctor Strange.

Spider-Man would go on to become arguably the most indispensable and recognisable character in the Marvel universe, and Doctor Strange a member of its permanent pantheon. The adventures of both have been turned into blockbuster films, and both had essential roles in the recent Avengers: Infinity War.

Today, the Marvel family mourns the loss of Steve Ditko, said Dan Buckley, the president of Marvel Entertainment. Steve transformed the industry and the Marvel Universe, and his legacy will never be forgotten.

While Lee embraced his status as a creative god among comics fans, appearing at conventions and in constant cameos in Marvels films, Ditko was a recluse who won the worship of the most hardcore comic-book geeks.

They were quick to praise him and the massive influence he had on art, film and culture.

Thank you Steve Ditko, for making my childhood weirder, fantasy author and graphic novel author Neil Gaiman said, in a series of tweets to his 2.7 million followers. He saw things his own way, and he gave us ways of seeing that were unique. Often copied. Never equalled. I know Im a different person because he was in the world.

Edgar Wright, the director of movies including Baby Driver and Shaun of the Dead, tweeted that Ditko was influential on countless planes of existence.

Comics are unimaginable without his influence, tweeted Patch Zircher, a comic-book artist who has worked on Batman and Superman for DC Comics. He co-created Spider-Man, which will be remembered as significant as Doyle creating Sherlock Holmes or Fleming creating James Bond. Spider-Man may outlast them both.

The English TV and radio host and comic books super-fan Jonathan Ross tweeted:

Jonathan Ross (@wossy)

I am beyond sad. For me, the single greatest comic book artist and creator who ever lived, Steve Ditko, is gone. Thank you for your tireless brilliance and boundless imagination, Steve, you uncompromising genius.https://t.co/aEPolXTIAy

July 6, 2018

The son of a steel-mill worker, Ditko was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, in 1927. He served in the army in Europe after the second world war and began working in comics in the 1950s in New York, eventually landing a drawing job with Marvel forerunner Atlas Comics.

Jack Kirby, Lees artist on the Fantastic Four and many other Marvel characters, took a stab at creating Spider-Man in 1961, but Lee was unsatisfied and gave the gig to Ditko, who gave Spidey the essential look he still has today.

Ditko left Marvel in 1966, but returned in 1979. One of his later creations was Squirrel Girl, who after her debut in 1992 became a cult favourite among comics fans.

He maintained a writing studio in Manhattan until his death, but had no known surviving family members and was reclusive, turning down nearly all offers to do interviews, meet fans or appear at movie premieres.

We didnt approach him, Scott Derrickson, the director of the 2016 movie Doctor Strange, told The Hollywood Reporter. Hes like JD Salinger. He is private and has intentionally stayed out of the spotlight. I hope he goes to see the movie wherever he is, because I think we paid homage to his work.”

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/jul/07/spider-man-co-creator-steve-ditko-dies-aged-90

Super Heroes

5 Comics You Should Read Before Seeing Ant-Man and the Wasp

Charmaine Blake

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“So, you’re getting psyched for this weekend’s Ant-Man and the Wasp and you’ve found yourself a fan of the idea of a miniature woman with wings kick ass and take names. The next step is obvious: It’s time to go read some Wasp comics, preferably with Ant-Man involved if at all possible. (Not that it’s a dealbreaker, mind you.) But where to find them? That’s where we come in, dear readers. Whether it’s wanting to see the original Wasp, Janet Van Dyne, or her successor fly around and save the day, here are five comic book runs to buzz off in search of.

Avengers Vol. 1 #273-277 (1986)

Marvel

Despite being the hero who named the Avengers—she also named the Vision, in a roundabout way—comics weren’t particularly good to the Wasp for the first couple of decades of her existence; she was treated as a flighty, flirty character there to lighten the mood or be rescued and/or worried about, instead of a hero in her own right. That started to change in the 1980s, when she became the leader of the Avengers following her divorce from Hank Pym (Michael Douglas in the Marvel Cinematic Universe). This five-issue storyline from that era shows the Wasp (in this case, Wasp is Janet Van Dyne, played by Michelle Pfeiffer in the MCU) being redefined right in front of readers’ eyes. This also happens to be one of the best Avengers stories ever, so you should pick it up regardless.

How to read it: Available digitally and in the Avengers Epic Collection: Under Siege print collection.

West Coast Avengers Vol. 2 #33-36 (1988)

Marvel

The Ant-Man movies offer glimpses of what Hank Pym’s life pre-Ant-Man was like, and this four-parter from the late ’80s pulls the curtain back even more in a surreal and wonderful way: Cold War drama! First wife drama! Doctor Doom drama! And even more drama! It also redefines Hank’s relationship with Janet Van Dyne in a dramatic way that pretty much everyone ignored afterwards, but that’s comics for you.

How to read it: Available digitally and in back-issue bins if you’re looking for print editions.

Avengers Vol. 4 #31-34 (2012)

Marvel

Years before Janet Van Dyne was rescued from the Quantum Realm, she was rescued from Inner Space, aka the Microverse, aka Sub-Atomica, aka what comics called the shrunken place before the movies called it the Quantum Realm. After years of being assumed dead, Janet is discovered alive, but very very small—sound familiar? Only the hook from the story ended up adapted into the movie, however, and it’s worth checking out how comics handled the idea the first time out. (Spoilers: It’s far more High Adventure than you might be expecting, and very very fun.)

How to read it: Available digitally and in the Avengers by Brian Michael Bendis Vol. 5 print collection.

The Unstoppable Wasp #1-8 (2017)

Marvel

By the time the Wasp got her own comic book series, it was Hank Pym’s daughter taking on the role … but not Hope, the character played by Evangeline Lilly in the Ant-Man movies. (In the comic book world Hope is a villain.) No, instead, it’s the adorable Nadia, who is as optimistic as she is nerdy, and as ready to inspire girls to take up STEM subjects as she is to fight crime and injustice in this enjoyable YA comic book series.

How to read it: Available digitally and in the Unstoppable Wasp Vol. 1: Unstoppable! and Unstoppable Wasp Vol. 2: Agents of G.I.R.L. print collections.

Ant-Man and the Wasp #1-5 (2018)

Marvel

Nadia is also the Wasp in the latest comic book outing for the character, launched last month to tie in with the movie’s release. A fun caper that strands both Nadia and Scott Lang—who don’t particularly like each other—in the Quantum Realm Microverse, where they try to do their best while getting home, only for disaster to ensue. It’s a fast-moving, fun introduction to where the comic book versions of the characters are these days, and also something that just might get you hooked on the current raft of Marvel comics out there in the process……”

How to read it: Available in print and digital editions.

Read more: https://www.wired.com/story/5-comics-ant-man-wasp/

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Plus-size superhero Faith to get own movie

Charmaine Blake

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Sony and Valiant Comics are teaming up to make the sci-fi-loving geek with telekinetic superpowers Hollywoods first plus-sized superhero

“Hollywood is breaking new ground with its first plus-sized superhero, as a film featuring Faith Herbert, AKA Zephyr, from Valiant Comics Harbinger stories gets underway.

According to Deadline, Sony have hired writer Maria Melnik (American Gods) to work on the project. The film is part of a 2015 deal the studio made with Valiant to develop movies from the publishers stable of characters. (Sony currently has the Vin Diesel starrer Bloodshot in development.)

Faith is described as a jubilant, comics-and-science-fiction loving geek who also happens to have telekinetic superpowers. She first appeared in 1992, as one of the Harbingers, teenage superhero outcasts, and went on to found the Harbinger Resistance to oppose the world-conquering intentions of powerful Harbinger Toyo Harada. No details have yet been released as to casting or plot details.

The project joins the burgeoning list of superheroes catering for a new demand for diversity, in the wake of Black Panthers record-breaking box office success. Recent projects in development include Ms Marvel, featuring American Muslim character Kamala Khan and Silk, a Korean-American superhero who gains Spider-Man-likepowers.”

 Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/jun/29/plus-size-superhero-faith-to-get-own-movie-sony-valiant-comics
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The Cloak of Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger…

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Watchers of Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger know that Tyrone Johnson is destined to become the “Cloak” half of that superhero duo, but he hasn’t quite figured out how to control the power that allows him to manipulate the realm of darkness inside him.

In this exclusive look at the fourth episode of Cloak & Dagger, Tyrone gets schooled on how the process of creating costumes can lead to greater self-understanding… and finally gets his hands on a familiar-looking black garment that might help him define his heroic identity.

“Call/Response” airs June 21.

Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/06/20/cloak-and-dagger-exclusive-clip/

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