Steve Ditko was there at the beginning of Marvel Comics and made an indelible mark on the company. He was deeply involved in the creation of Spider-Man and was the sole creator of Dr. Strange. He later moved to Charlton and DC, where he continued to leave his mark. Below are key issues from some of Ditko’s most well-known creations.
Strange Tales #110 – First Appearance of Dr. Strange
In 1963, Ditko pitched the idea of Dr. Strange to Stan Lee. Lee wasn’t all that impressed with the idea but decided to give the character a try in an issue of Strange Tales. Readers were impressed with the story and with the psychedelic art, and Lee and Ditjo went on a long run with the character.
Dr. Strange has remained one of Marvel’s most revered icons, and two films featuring the character have been made. Strange Tales 110 is a pricey book, but not as expensive as other Marvel first appearances from that time period. A copy in a CGC 4.0 runs around $3,000.
Tales of Suspense #48 – First Red and Gold Iron Man Suit
Iron Man first appeared in Tales of Suspense 39 in March of 1963. The character was created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Don Heck, and Jack Kirby. While the character was fascinating to readers, there was one problem; his armored suit was gray and dull.
Steve Ditko took over artist duties on the character for a three-issue run (Tales of Suspense 47-49). In issue 48, the artist debuted the character’s now iconic red and gold armor that remains today. An issue of Tales of Suspense 48 sells for around $525 in a CGC 6.0.
Blue Beetle #1 – First Appearance of the Question (Vic Sage)
After his run at Marvel Comics, Steve Ditko moved to Charlton, a company he had previous experience working for. It was there that he revitalized the Blue Beetle, a popular character to this day. And it was in the page of Blue Beetle that he created the Question, a character influenced by his interest in the philosophy of objectivism.
Blue Beetle and the Question were folded into the DC Comics Universe in 1985. Copies of Blue Beetle 1 are quite rare and don’t come around very often. When they do, though, they are quite affordable. A CGC 9 copy of the book can be had for around $110.
Shade the Changing Man #1 – First Appearance Shade the Changing Man
In 1977, Steve Ditko created a new character for the first time in a long time. That character was DC’s Shade the Changing man. Shade was a refugee from another dimension who had the ability to distort his appearance. He would later become aligned with the Suicide Squad.
Shade would later have his own series on the Vertigo imprint, which would run for 70 issues. The first appearance of the character comes in 1977’s Shade the Changing Man 1, which can be had in a CGC 9.6 for around $100.
Showcase #75 – First Appearance of Hawk and Dove
Like Stan Lee, Steve Ditko based many of his creations around the political discourse of the day. This was reflected in his brother’s superhero team, Hawk and Dove. Hawk was the more aggressive of the pair, while Dove was a pacifist.
In 1985, Hawk and Dove would become Hank Hall and Dawn Granger. That pair is portrayed by Alan Ritchson and Minka Kelly on the show Titans. The book doesn’t come up for sale very often. The last CGC 8.0 sold for $147.
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