Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and eighty-ninth installment where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.
Here's part 1 of this week's all Steve Ditko-related legends!
Steve Ditko had finished Doctor Strange pages that were never published
Appears to be True
As many fans of Steve Ditko's work know, his final seventeen Doctor Strange stories in the pages of Strange Tales combine to form one long story. I know more than a few people have suggested over the years that this story could really be termed the first original comic book graphic novel.
When the final issue came out, which was the same month that Ditko left Marvel all together (his final issue of Strange Tales and his final issue of Amazing Spider-Man both came out in the same month), it sure as heck read as though it was a very much FINAL issue, right down to Dormammu and Eternity battling and seemingly destroying each other...
Everything was wrapped up, loose ends were tied and the characters were put back into their places for the next writer. So it sure seemed like this was the last Doctor Strange story that Ditko did, a planned ending.
That, though, was not the case.
As it turned out, Ditko (who was working separately from both Stan Lee and the people who followed Lee as the scripters of the Doctor Strange feature, namely Steve Skeates and Denny O'Neil) had drawn at least two more Doctor Strange stories that only needed to be scripted to be completed.
In the same 2002 Wizard article I've been citing a lot the last week or so, they quote Ralph Macchio on how Ditko is not interested in re-visiting his past at Marvel:
“He has a couple of Doctor Strange stories that he’s never turned in,” said Macchio, who maintains an ongoing relationship with the artist. “No amount of prying could get them from him, but there are a couple of completed Ditko Dr. Stranges out there.”
Macchio did his best to explain the value of the stories to Ditko, telling him they were worth their weight in gold, but-as the editor remembers-“It didn’t impress him.”
I know Tom Brevoort has mentioned these Strange stories, as well.
Isn't that amazing? That we could have NEW Ditko Doctor Strange stories from the past?
But oh well, I respect the fact that he didn't want them published. It's still such a crazy thing to know that they are out there somewhere.
Check out my latest Movie Legends Revealed - How did Captain Marvel's film debut cause trouble for the character in the long run?
Check back later for the final part of this week's Comic Book Legends Revealed!