Monday, July 23, 2012

Trying to Start the Fire

Whenever I look at the comics that Steve Ditko produced for Charlton and DC just at the time he was leaving Marvel, I cannot get over the fact that it appeared that he was doing his damndest to rekindle the magic he'd conjured with Spider-Man.

His recreation of the old Blue Beetle character at Charlton was inspired, as was his character The Question. Both of them live on today not only as major properties at DC, but also as parodies from The Watchmen as envisioned by Alan Moore.

And when you look at The Creeper, it also seems obviously rigged to try to catch the mojo of Spider-Man. More than the brother team he pitched at the public called The Hawk & The Dove.

I think the problem was that each of these characters, with the possible exception of the Blue Beetle, were so philosophically heavy handed that the public just couldn't find anything attractive in them beyond Ditko's unique style of drawing and the iconic figures he created to house the fascist souls with which he invested them.

Still, they're all around these days. They pop up here and there. I haven't looked at the modern comic book scene in a long time, but the last time I checked it seemed that The Question still had his own title, and maybe even the Blue Beetle.

But for a time it looked as if Ditko could grab that brass ring one more time. Alas, lightning rarely strikes twice. Especially when it started a fire as bright and as intense as The Amazing Spider-Man.

BLUE BEETLE #1 from Ditko (at Charlton Comics). Another iconic costume, plus an enduring mystery man: The Question!

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