The Hero Maker – Steve Ditko

ditko-league-of-a-merica (1)Mr. A. The Creeper. Blue Beetle. Capt. Atom.  Dr. Strange. Thunder Agents. The Question… and someone named Spider-man. These are a few of the comic book characters that were created or drawn by the artist, STEVE DITKO.  All of them touched my life in many ways and I have Mr. Ditko to thank for his genius in fleshing them out.
His most famous creation was a joint venture between him and Marvel’s head, Stan Lee. Borrowing from The Fly (MLJ Comics) and the pulp hero The Spider, Ditko drew The Amazing Spider-Man. Of course, later I noticed some similarities to a hero name Spider Queen, who shot webs to capture criminals.  Spider-Man made his debut in 1961 in Amazing Fantasy No. 15, and the character’s popularity led to his own title, The Amazing Spider-Man, which Mr. Ditko penciled, inked and largely plotted between 1963 and 1966.
Mr. Ditko helped develop other Marvel superheroes, including Iron Man and the Hulk. Probably his best-known besides Spider-Man was Dr. Strange, a “master of the mystic arts,” who first appeared in 1963.
question.jpgAfter leaving Marvel, Ditko created Mr. A, a black-and-white comic aimed at adults and unconstrained by the Comics Code. Mr. A, attired in a white suit and conservative hat, was named after “A is A,” the idea in Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” that there is one unassailable truth, one reality, and only white (good) and black (evil) forces in society. Unlike mainstream superheroes, he killed criminals. For Charlton Comic Mr. Ditko created the Question, also in a suit and hat but devoid of facial features but.The Question followed the Comic Code.
In 1968 Mr. Ditko joined DC, where he created, among other characters, the Hawk and the Dove, super powered brothers of opposing moral dispositions, and the Creeper, a crime fighter with a maniacal laugh.
Ditko was inducted into the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1990 and the Will Eisner Hall of Fame in 1994. In Sam Raimi’s Hollywood feature “Spider-Man,” in 2002, the opening credits read, “Based on the Marvel comic book by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.”
Steve Ditko was one of my favorite comic book creators. He has taken his final taxi at the age of 90.

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