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!
NOTE: The CSBG Twitter page hit 10,050 followers, so I did a bonus edition of Comic Book Legends Revealed earlier this week. We’ll keep the bit going, though. Every 1,000 followers of the CSBG Twitter page, I’ll do a bonus Comic Book Legends Revealed that week.
Steve Ditko almost returned to do a Spider-Man story in the 1990s
Steve Ditko, as you all know, was the co-creator of Spider-Man and, in the early years of the character, was the primary creative force behind the series. Eventually, he even got full plotting credit and almost complete freedom with how to do the stories. He did not have to consult with Stan Lee at all. He would just come up with an issue, draw it and then send it into Marvel with notes so that Lee knew what was going on in the issue and then Lee would add dialogue.
However, Ditko then decided that he no longer wanted to work for Marvel, so he quit after 40 issues of the series (Amazing Spider-Man #1-38 and Amazing Spider-Man Annuals #1-2, plus Amazing Fantasy #15 if you want to count that. So 41 issues, I guess).
Ditko returned to work for Marvel in the 1980s (perhaps not so conveniently after Stan Lee moved to California) and continued to work there in the 1990s. I covered these eras recently in the following two articles (Ditko’s Marvel return and Ditko in the 1990s).
Ditko, though, would not do any stories involving his famous co-creation, Spider-Man.
Well, during the 1990s, Marvel editor Ralph Macchio, who has a long held reputation as being a really good guy for creators to deal with (Frank Miller returned to Marvel because of Macchio) almost got Ditko to return to Spider-Man!
Macchio explained it to Wizard magazine back in 2002…
“I said, ‘Steve, you can do something really different,’” Macchio explained. “‘Go back to where you left off and do that next story that you wanted to do.’
“He was saying, ‘Well, I was thinking about doing Peter Parker…what he did during that summer. What happened after he graduated? What did he do with his life?”
It was a great idea, the editor remembered, noting something happened that caused Ditko to change his mind.
“Unfortunately, it didn’t come off, but we really were getting close with it,” Macchio said. “I didn’t want to press him any further, but he had thought about it. It was quite an exciting thing to have at least gotten him to that point.”
Note that when Peter Parker graduated in Amazing Spider-Man #28…
There was very little time before Peter was in college in Amazing Spider-Man #31…
So there really was a nice gap there that Ditko could have gotten into.
Oh well. It would have been amazing!
Check out my latest TV Legends Revealed – How far did the Justice League creators go to hide their big plot twist involving Hawkgirl?
Check back later for the final TWO parts (yep, you get a bonus legend this week!) of this week’s Comic Book Legends Revealed!
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