Saturday, August 16, 2003

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usThere seems to be some discussion in the Blog-o-sphere-iverse about the nature of Ditko's Question and Mr. A characters, and whether or not they're as "preachy" as the Sturdy One's reputation would suggest.

As someone who is older than God, and who has read about as many comics, too, I feel moved to put my two cents' worth in. I've read several of the old Charlton Questions (along with a half dozen or so of DC's revival attempt in the 80s) and a couple of the Mr. A's as well, although I don't own any. What I had was either in the collection of my friend Dave Puckett, or was sold when I sold 3/4 of my original collection in 1987, a move I regret to this day. I don't recall Ditko's Question being all that "preachy", mostly because, I suspect, that it was a work made for hire for Charlton. That being said, Ditko certainly took every opportunity to slip his Rand-ish views in whenever the opportunity presented itself, as he tried to do in his later Spider-Man issues and DC's Hawk and the Dove. Also, if I recall correctly, when Dennis O'Neil and Denys Cowan did the character for the 80s revival, he took on a harder edge, and O'Neil used the book as a forum for some of his more liberal maybe that's what many folks recall when they think of the character in general, since that version is more comparitively fresh. He also did a character named Killjoy for Charlton, which was much more of a platform for his polemics. Mr. A, on the other hand, was self-published (or published by a small press publisher which did Ditko projects almost exclusively) and was created solely as a forum for his views, such as they were. So, I suppose on a preachiness scale of one to ten I'd give Mr. A a 9, Killjoy a 7.5 and the Question a 6.

For a bio of Steve's Question, go here.
For a bio of Mr. A, go here.
For a picture and brief commentary of Killjoy, go here.

These come from what is probably the best site for Ditko info on the Web, Blake Bell's Ditko Looked Up. Curiously, there's little mention of Killjoy.