Comic Legends: The Odd Reason Behind Steve Ditko Doing a WWF Comic!

Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and fifty-first week where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false. Yes, we've seriously done 650 of these bad boys. Yikes.

As we've been doing it for some time now, one legend today, one tomorrow and one Sunday.

Let's begin!


Steve Ditko agreed to work on WWF comics because it fit into his philosophical beliefs.


Apparently True

Steve Ditko, as you all know, is the co-creator of Spider-Man...

Ditko, though, is also well known for being a follower of Objectivism, the philosophy based on the works of Ayn Rand.

A big part of it is that people are objectively either good or evil.

So that led to Ditko having some conflicts with most comic book characters, who tend to be a bit of a mixture of the two. Ditko, for instance, does not want to work on Spider-Man anymore because the modern, adult Spider-Man, doesn't fit into his views.

Surprisingly enough, though, that led to him working for Valiant on a surprising type of comic book!

Jim Shooter explained the situation on his website:

So, we were making Nintendo and WWF comics. An interesting (to me) tidbit is that David Lapham’s first professional comics work was for one of our WWF books.Then one day, Steve Ditko came to see me.

I don’t know exactly how long Marvel had kept Steve on after I left there, but eventually they’d cut him loose. Jerks.

I’d never before seen Steve looking…I don’t know. Worn down? Worried? Troubled? Hard to say, Steve doesn’t exactly show his feelings much, and was not the type to express despair or even its lesser cousins. But he didn’t look happy. He didn’t look well. And he needed work.

I didn’t have the power to make something to suit him, and believe me, Steve is the kind who would starve rather than violate his principles, but luckily, I had WWF scripts waiting to be drawn! The WWF “faces” (short for babyfaces, good guys) were good enough and the “heels,” or bad guys, were evil enough to pass muster with Steve. I think that was the one time I was happy that we had the WWF.

He started working for us.

Here's the WWF Battlemania #1 cover...

And here's one story by Ditko...

And here's another sample...

Very cool story by Shooter about Ditko's work at Valiant.

Thanks to reader Kevin C for suggesting this one!

Check out some legends from Legends Revealed:

Check back Saturday for part 2 of this week's The Walking Dead 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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