ComicMix History Lesson: Steve Ditko’s Revenge
The cover Mike Raub used to illustrate his ComicMix Radio piece earlier today reminded me of another cover of somewhat similar design … and quiet controversy. So it’s time for another ComicMix History Lesson!
Once upon a time DC Comics had this idea of resurrecting their Showcase try-out series, but they made a couple significant changes. Instead of doing three-issue try-out runs, they did a series of one-shots. And, unlike Showcase‘s The Flash, Lois Lane, Green Lantern, The Atom (et al) runs, by and large these one-shots sucked.
They named the series 1st Issue Special because the phrase "1st issue" sold comics to collectors, and then they numbered each issue sequentially, proving their desire to sell comics in Canada outweighed their faith in collectors (don’t ask – or, better still, if you want to know, ask and I’ll respond in comments).
One of the better issues resurrected Steve Ditko’s Beware The Creeper, dropping the "Beware" part. Editorial director Carmine Infantino rejected Steve’s cover concept and drew up one of his own. Evidently, Steve didn’t care for it, but that was how the gig worked. So he drew it as designed: Firefly battling The Creeper in the sky, with a down-shot point-of-view.
As you can see, both characters are pummeling each other as they are falling to the ground. In the background is a street scene, with tiny little cars. And across from one of those tiny little cars, there’s a tiny little fire hydrant. And next to the fire hydrant, there’s a tiny little dog. And next to the tiny little dog who is next to the tiny little fire hydrant, there’s a tiny little puddle.
That last part reflects what Ditko thought of Infantino’s cover design.