Nice lesser known Ditko creation collection
After stints with both Marvel and Charlton Steve Ditko moved on over to DC in the late '60s. There he was asked to develop some new characters and concepts. One was the Creeper. The Creeper lasted one tryout issue of Showcase and 6 issues in his own book. By the late '60s publishers were quick to pull the plug and did not always have the patience to allow a book to gain a following. Things haven't changed all that much since. But the Creeper was never abandoned completely; he made guest appearances, team-ups with Batman in the Brave and the Bold, and was a back up feature at various times. The present collection is a 288 page hardcover with the newsprint type paper that has been used in many of DCs recent collections, notably the various Jack Kirby omnibuses. Reprinted are the initial Showcase appearance, the six issues of the Creeper book, the appearance in 1st Issue Special, the seven appearances in World's Finest, and a never published (and uncolored) full length story. The book is creator centric not character centric. Only the Creeper stories that Ditko had a hand in are included. For the Creeper this doesn't matter too much. It would have been nice if the Creeper features from Adventure comics could have been included as they set up the Creeper's "second" supporting cast. The stories themselves are quite good but fall into two distinct groups. The first group is the more serious of the two. The tone is distinctly darker than was usual for the late '60s (but tame by current standards). The second group, from the World's Finest backups, are somewhat lighter, with the humor aspect (always present in the Creeper) played up much more. There is also a much stronger supporting cast in the second group than the first. Finally, Ditko's art style seems to have changed between the two groups of stories. The second group has a much more "cartoonish" look to it but perhaps that was deliberate given the lighter tone. The World's Finest stories are remarkable for the amount of plot packed into a mere eight pages. Today, that amount of plot would be spread over eight issues. Except for reservations about not including non Ditko material I can recommend this collection to all comic book super hero aficionados. I care more for characters than creators and I hope DC changes its policy on these collections to avoid "orphaning" stories.
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