Friday, November 27, 2015


Normally I don't buy extra copies of books that I already have in my collection. However, sometimes I will if two qualities present themselves: a very low price and nicer condition than what I already own. These two things came together this week when I happened upon a copy of MYSTERIOUS SUSPENSE #1 from Charlton Comics.

I got this book for obvious reasons. It features stories created by, written by, illustrated by, and inked by Steve Ditko. Here we see The Question, one of his creations that has been almost as long-lived as either Spider-Man or Dr. Strange. He created The Question after he walked away from Marvel Comics and was making his living away from the thieving influence of Stan Lee and Martin Goodman.

I'm not sure who did the dialog in this book, but it's credited to "D.C. Glanzman" who was, apparently, a real person, but it has also been said that Ditko would sometimes use the name when doing his own dialog. As with most of Ditko's work, the dogma is laid on pretty thick. So I suspect that the words in those balloons are at least 50% Ditko...perhaps 100%. It's certainly a lot different from the silly dialog that was present in Spider-Man, so my suspicion is that someone was following Ditko's notes closely--if it wasn't Ditko himself. When I was younger I thought that Lee had rewritten Ditko's dialog on Spider-Man and Dr. Strange. But these days I suspect that the dialog was mainly written by many of the pulp writers who were in the building working on Goodman's various pulp titles.

At any rate, I picked up a better-than-fine copy of the book. It may go permanently into my collection, or perhaps I'll sell it later and keep the lesser condition book.

A nicer condition copy of MYSTERIOUS SUSPENSE #1, featuring THE QUESTION, created by Steve Ditko, plotted by Steve Ditko, penciled and inked by Steve Ditko. (But, alas, copyright by DC Comics.)

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