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Comic Legends: How Ditko Led to One Final Lee/Romita Spider-Man Comic

Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and ninety-first installment where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

As always, there will be three different posts for each legend this week! This is yet another all-Steve Ditko week!

NOTE: If the CSBG Twitter page hits 11,000 followers, I'll do a bonus edition of Comic Book Legends Revealed that week. Great deal, right? So go follow the CSBG Twitter page!

COMIC LEGEND:

Steve Ditko's decision not to do a project at Marvel inadvertently led to the final Stan Lee/John Romita Spider-Man project (to date).

STATUS:

Basically True

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Last week, I wrote about how Steve Ditko was going to do a Spider-Man project for Marvel for Ralph Macchio in the 1990s that was squelched when Ditko discovered the existence of Untold Tales of Spider-Man, which annoyed Ditko because he felt that it was, in effect, saying that he now had collaborators on his old Spider-Man stories and since Ditko's new project would have been set in the past, then he would be having "collaborators" on his NEW project, too. So Ditko decided not to go forward.

Glenn Greenberg (who helped create Untold Tales of Spider-Man with Tom Brevoort) told me about the story in the first place, but he then wanted to also note that the project was not going to be a series or anything like that. It was likely just going to be a one-shot or something along the lines. In fact, Greenberg noted to me that when the project fell apart, Marvel replaced the project on their docket with a reunion of Stan Lee and John Romita on a one-shot technically just called Kingpin, but the title of the comic on the cover was Spider-Man/Kingpin: To the Death...

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It involved the Kingpin hiring a fake Spider-Man to work as an assassin...

This led to the superhero community trying to take Spider-Man down. It's fun to see Romita draw Marvel's then-current batch of heroes...

In the end, Daredevil realizes Spider-Man is innocent and teams up with him to take the Kingpin down. Stan Lee scripted the story on a Tom DeFalco plot and Romita was inked by Dan Green.

As far as I can tell, this is the last Spider-Man comic book that Lee and Romita have worked on together. So it is kind of fascinating to me that this project came about because the Ditko deal fell through, so, in a roundabout way, Ditko was once again followed on Spider-Man by John Romita! That's kind of poetic, I think.

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Thanks so much to Gleen Greenberg for the information (and for the correction on last week's piece, where I noted that Ditko was working on a Spider-Man series, while Glenn noted that it was just a short-term project)!

Check out some legends from Legends Revealed:

Check back tomorrow for part 2 of this week's legends!

And remember, if you have a legend that you're curious about, drop me a line at either brianc@cbr.com or cronb01@aol.com!

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