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6062Help Distilling '70s and '80s Ditko

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  • Dan Dillon
    Jul 20, 2014
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      Could you help me distill down the essence of Steve Ditko’s 1970s-80s super hero creations?

      My interest in this random topic was piqued recently when Amazon recommended to me DC’s “Steve Ditko Omnibus” vol. 1, featuring his 1978 creation Shade: the Changing Man.   That led me to ebay, where I discovered a seller vending modern B&W reprints of Ditko’s 1980s creations, including Static and The Missing Man (among others), as well as a short lived comic book that Steve Ditko and Wally Wood did for Atlas in the mid-1970s, “The Destructor.” Lastly, I also re-purchased a full run of “Speedball,” Ditko’s 1987 creation that I had bought originally as a teenager when the 10 issues were first published by Marvel (and had hated).

      Re-reading all of this material together recently, I became intrigued by two aspects of this body of work. 

      One is that each of them works incorporate, in their own way, Ditko’s characteristic dialogues/ diatribes about morality and the law. While I may personally think this comes off as an intelligent crank lecturing me as a reader, I nonetheless find that aspect of this work personal to him, and unique in comics, and therefore intriguing.

      Secondly, the characters themselves seem to share certain similarities in their concepts, backgrounds and powers.  But these shared characteristics have proven elusive when I’ve tried to define them specifically on my own.
       
      I’d like to create an original super hero character that distills down all of this to a compelling essence, and thereby personifies it.  Beyond the buzz words “objectivism” and “Mr. A,” can Ditko’s ‘philosophy’ as expressed in these works be summarized in a sentence?  And can a common character concept be distilled from among The Destructor, Shade, Static, The Missing Man, and Speedball?

      Please note that I intentionally excepted Ditko’s more famous Marvel co-creations, his Charlton action heroes like Blue Beetle and The Question, and his 1960s DC creations like The Creeper, partly because they’re all considered classic Silver Age characters (and that’s already a fully analyzed and well understood period of comic book history). I also omitted Mr. A and The Mocker because they’re not really ‘super heroes.’

      With all of that in mind, can you help me with any insights? 
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