Comic Legends: Did Ditko Really Draw Spider-Man in an Issue of Rom?

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! Here is Part 2 of this week's All Steve Ditko-related legends!

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Steve Ditko drew Spider-Man in an issue of Rom



A while back, I wrote a (too long) CBR article about Steve Ditko's return to Marvel Comics in the 1980s, where he had a long stint drawing Rom the Spaceknight, a book that Jim Shooter noted appealed to Ditko's Objectivist philosophy.

In that same article, I noted that one of Ditko's conditions upon his return to Marvel was that he would never have to draw the two characters that he was most famous for, Doctor Strange and Spider-Man.

However, reader Bob H. wrote in to point out a seeming exception to that rule and not only that, but it was actually in the featured image that I had for the article!!

In Rom #62 (by Bill Mantlo, Steve Ditko and inkers Ian Akin and Brian Garvey), Rom tries to persuade Forge to mass-produce Rom's neautrilizer to stop the Dire Wraiths, but Forge doesn't trust the government to not just turn the device on Earth's superheroes...

It sure does look like Spider-Man on the bottom right of this panel...

And heck, even in the panel of the superheroes on the next page, it looks like Spider-Man in the background.

So what was the deal?

Did Ditko have an exception for the black costume Spider-Man or something like that?

Nope, four issues later, the book's editor, Mike Carlin, explained that Akin and Garvey added the Spider-Man figures to the panels.

So the only time Ditko ever drew Spider-Man in a published work since he left Marvel was in a couple of pieces he did talking about his role in the creation of the character over the years in his independent work...

There ya go, Bob! Thanks for the great question! You had me confused for a bit there!

Check out my latest Movie Legends Revealed - How did Captain Marvel's film debut cause trouble for the character in the long run?

OK, that's it for this week!

Thanks to the Grand Comics Database for this week's covers! And thanks to Brandon Hanvey for the Comic Book Legends Revealed logo, which I don't even actually use on the CBR editions of this column, but I do use them when I collect them all on legendsrevealed.com!

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See you all next week!

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