John Romita Sr., a Marvel comic artist who was responsible for some of the most popular creations of the Marvel universe, has sadly passed away. His passing was announced on Twitter by his son, another comic book artist following his father’s career. Passing at 93, Romita Sr. had a huge influence on the Marvel franchise, especially Spider-Man.
Here are some of his most impactful choices and how he helped create the Marvel world we all love today.
Mary Jane Watson: John Romita Sr.’s Romantic Addition
Before Romita Sr. joined the team for Marvel, specifically to help with Spider-Man, Peter Parker was a nerdy character without much of a love interest. Today, it’s hard to imagine Peter Parker without his other half, Mary Jane Watson.
Her iconic introduction that made comic book history was something Romita Sr. was responsible for. Amazing Spider-Man #42 marked the first appearance of Mary Jane Watson and one of many amazing achievements by Romita Sr. for the Marvel franchise. What’s more, the quote from that particular panel is still one of the most popular Mary Jane Watson quotes. So it’s Romita Sr. we have to thank for ever getting to meet her character with that design and personality.
Face it, Tiger. You hit the Jackpot!Mary Jane Watson, Amazing Spider-Man #42
Wilson Fisk and More: John Romita Sr.’s Villainous Creations
Romita Sr. didn’t only create love stories. He was also responsible for inking some of the first pages with classic Spider-Man villains. The Amazing Spider-Man #50 marked the release of Wilson Fisk, more commonly known as Kingpin. Created by Romita Sr. and Stan Lee, this villain is not only present in the comics, but is one of the villains in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and a few of the Spider-Man video games.
He didn’t stop there. Romita Sr. went on to work with Lee on the development of Rhino and the Shocker, two other prominent Spider-Man villains. Rhino first appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #41, while the Shocker appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #46. Later, he even inked the first panel to include Hobgoblin.
Movie Influences: John Romita Sr.’s Iconic Panels on Screen
Although Romita Sr. never worked on the Marvel Spider-Man movies, his panels were good enough to make it into the final cut. For Spider-Man 2, the impactful scene of Spider-Man walking away from his suit in the trash was pulled directly from Amazing Spider-Man #50. So that stellar scene only existed due to Romita Sr.’s beautiful work in the comic world.
For being such an influential figure at Marvel, Romita Sr. received many well-deserved rewards for his impact. He was inducted into both the Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame and the Inkwell Awards Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame.
Romita Sr. was an inspiration to many comic book artists and readers alike. His impact on the Spider-Man and Marvel franchise as a whole was a credit to his skill and care as an artist. So next time you see Spider-Man in Marvel content, remember the famous comic book artist who brought him to life.
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