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John Romita Sr dead at 93: Spider-Man comic book

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LEGENDARY comic book artist John Romita Sr, known for being the mastermind behind Marvel characters Wolverine and the Punisher, as died at 93.

Romita’s death was confirmed by his son, John Romita Jr on Tuesday night via Twitter.

Comic book artist John Romita Sr has died at the age of 93

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Comic book artist John Romita Sr has died at the age of 93Credit: Getty
Romita worked on Spider-Man in 1966, creating iconic characters such as Mary Jane Watson

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Romita worked on Spider-Man in 1966, creating iconic characters such as Mary Jane WatsonCredit: Marvel
He was also instrumental in the creation of characters like Wolverine, seen here played by Hugh Jackman

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He was also instrumental in the creation of characters like Wolverine, seen here played by Hugh JackmanCredit: Twentieth Century Fox Film/Kobal/Shutterstock

“I say this with a heavy heart, my father passed away peacefully in his sleep,” wrote John, who is also a successful comic book artist.

“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.”

Fans took to Twitter to mourn the loss of the legend, with many recalling fond memories of his work.

One person wrote: “Sorry to hear about the great comic book artist John Romita Sr passing at the age of 93. My brother and I wrote Mr. Romita when we were young kids & sent him drawings of superheroes we were working on. He  wrote us back, telling us what he liked about the drawings!”

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Another said: “John Romita Sr will forever be one of my favorite Spider-Man artist, he forever changed the character and I’ll always be grateful for his contributions to comics.”

A third wrote: “RIP John Romita Sr. He drew the definitive Spider-Man of my generation, setting the model for countless artists after him.

“Including me. His influence on Spider-Man, Marvel comics, and my childhood cannot be overstated.”

Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1930, Romita graduated from the Manhattan School of Industrial Art and served in the US Army before starting his career in comics.

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His early work was published in Eastern Color’s Famous Funnies.

For a decade he divided his time between Timely Comics and National Comics – which would go on to become Marvel and DC respectively – and worked on several titles.

Romita worked with Marvel editor-in-chief Stan Lee on The Amazing Spider-Man for five years starting in 1966, taking over for artist Steve Ditko who co-created the famed web-slinger with Lee in 1961.

Romita’s work on Spider-Man saw the introduction of several memorable characters, including the hero’s love interest Mary Jane Watson.

During Romita’s time as an artist on Spider-Man, the comic overtook Fantastic Four to become Marvel’s best-seller, with Spidey eventually becoming the face of the company.

In 1972, Romita became the unofficial art director of Marvel – earning the title formally a year later – and served in that role for two decades.

He contributed to the design of characters such as Luke Cage, the Punisher, and Wolverine.

Romita completed artwork for several titles, including the cover of The Amazing Spider-Man Annual No. 21 in 1987, which saw Spidey’s alter ego, Peter Parker finally get hitched to Mary Jane.

In 1996, Romita went into semi-retirement and left Marvel, however, he gave his input on several Spider-Man projects and even a Superman cover for DC.

Romita often said in interviews that his biggest regret was not being born earlier so he could have been a part of the first generation of writers and comic book artists but still had respect for those who came before him.

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“No matter what success I’ve had, I’ve always considered myself a guy who can improve on somebody else’s concepts,” he told Comics Reporter in 2002. “A writer and another artist can create something, and I can make it better.”

Romita is survived by his wife, Virginia, and sons John and Victor.



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