Marvel Legend John Romita Sr. Passed Away at 93

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John Romita Sr. and the characters he helped create

Credit: Marvel Comics

Legendary comic book artist John Romita Sr. passed away on June 12, 2023. He was 93 years old.

John Romita Sr.'s death announcement on Instagram
Credit: John Romita Jr. Instagram

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Romita’s son, John Romita Jr., announced the passing on social media: “I say this with a heavy heart, 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 ended the announcement by saying, “He was the greatest man I ever met.”

John Romita Sr. is survived by his wife, Virginia Romita, and his two sons, Victor and John Jr., who is a successful comic book artist in his own right.

John Romita Sr. Considered Himself “A Guy Who Could Improve On Somebody Else’s Concepts”

John Romita Sr., his son, and Stan Lee
Credit: John Romita Jr. Instagram

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Born in 1930, John Romita Sr. began his comic book career working for multiple publications, including DC Comics, Atlas Comics, and Trojan Comics. He became a freelance artist at Marvel Comics in 1965. Soon, Stan Lee brought him in to work on The Avengers and Daredevil. However, Romita’s life changed forever when Lee brought him in to work on Spider-Man.

Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko had left Marvel after a fight with Stan Lee, and Lee needed someone else to step in and actually draw the character. Romita was his first choice. After spending some time imitating Ditko’s iconic style, Romita soon brought his own into it. What resulted were some of the most iconic images in comic book history.

Romita brought classic moments to life like Spider-Man marrying Mary Jane and Peter Parker throwing away the Spider-Man costume. On top of this, he co-created some of the greatest fictional characters of all time, including Wolverine, Mary Jane Watson, The Kingpin, The Punisher, Luke Cage, Rhino, Bullseye, and many more.

Despite his part in all of these creations and milestone moments in Marvel history, Romita never considered himself a creator. “No matter what success I’ve had, I’ve always considered myself a guy who can improve on somebody else’s concepts,” he said. “A writer and another artist can create something, and I can make it better.”

Romita continued, “I’ve created a lot of stuff. But I don’t consider myself a real creator in a Jack Kirby sense. But I’ve always had the ability to improve on other people’s stories, other people’s characters. And I think that’s what’s made me a living for 50 years.”

Despite not wanting to give himself too much credit, Marvel Entertainment summed up his contributions best: “John Romita Sr. was a pillar of the Marvel Universe, and his talent defined decades of Marvel’s most well-known stories and characters. The Marvel family has lost one of its legends, and we mourn the loss of a creative giant.”

Who is your favorite character created by John Romita Sr.? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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