Comic Book Legend John Romita Sr. Dies At 93

John Romita Sr., one of the key artists in Marvel Comics’ history who co-created characters such as Wolverine, the Punisher and Mary Jane Watson, died on Tuesday. He was 93.

Romita Sr.’s death was confirmed by his son, fellow comics artist John Romita Jr., in a post on Twitter Tuesday evening.

“I say this with a heavy heart,” Romita Jr. wrote. “My father passed away peacefully in his sleep. He is a legend in the art world and it would be my honor to follow in his footsteps. Please keep your thoughts and condolences here out of respect for my family. He was the greatest man I ever met.”

Although Romita Sr.’s major contributions were made at Marvel Comics, he split time between the company and rival DC Comics early in his career. He was born in Brooklyn on Jan. 24, 1930, and worked at Timely Comics, which would later become Marvel Comics, in the 1940s and DC Comics in the ’50s and ’60s.

In 1966, he took over for artist Steve Ditko on “The Amazing Spider-Man” series, working alongside Marvel editor-in-chief Stan Lee on the series and shaping the current conception of the superhero.

Romita Sr.’s “Spider-Man” tenure introduced Peter Parker’s perennial love interest, Mary Jane Watson, as well as the crime boss Kingpin, now a mainstay across the Marvel rogues gallery. A feud with Lee eventually ended his time on the series.

Other enduring “Spider-Man” characters created by Romita Sr. included the high-flying villain Vulture, the mobster Hammerhead, sonic-powered Shocker, the Hobgoblin, journalist Robbie Robertson and Gwen Stacy’s father George Stacy.

Romita Sr. also had a hand in telling creating the tragic, seminal storyline “The Night Gwen Stacy Died,” considered one of the best “Spider-Man” stories ever told.

He also helped create Luke Cage, the Daredevil villain Bullseye and Wilson Fisk, a.k.a. the evil mastermind Kingpin. Nearly all of these characters have appeared countless times in film and TV, live-action and animated. Romita Sr.’s death comes the week after Sony’s “Spider-Man” sequel “Across the Spider-Verse” hit theaters and dominated the box office.

Romita Sr. was inducted into the Eisner Awards Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Inkwell Awards Hall of Fame in 2020. He is survived by his wife, Virginia, and sons Romita Jr. and Victor.

Published by Larry Fire

I write an eclectic pop culture blog called THE FIRE WIRE that features articles about books, comics, music, movies, television, gadgets, posters, toys & more!

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