Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Steve Ditko Cover of the Week: Speedball #10

I'm of pretty mixed emotions when it comes to this cover in particular, and Speedball in general. While it was great to see Ditko helping to launch a new superhero title at Marvel, it became apparent that lightning doesn't often strike twice. I like the character, and I feel that there's always room for good, clean superhero fun - but I don't think it could have been released at a worse time. Ditko's more minimalist approach is apparent on this cover - the overall impact is that it feels static (no pun intended) and rushed. We don't quite get the fluidity that we've come to expect, and while the lack of background detail or secondary figures often worked on Charlton covers (I'm thinking of Ghostly Tales #121 as a comparison), it doesn't work at all here. I'm also fairly sure that I've seen Speedball's pose somewhere before - does anyone recognize this as a swipe. All in all, a pretty weak effort.


Jeremy A. Patterson said...

I managed to pick up that issue when it first came out, & it was weird!


Anonymous said...

I don't remember Speedball well enough to comment on how good it was. Like you I was just happy to see Ditko doing something new and at Marvel too.

Ditko's figure reminds me of a Gil Kane figure. I can't pinpoint any particular Kane drawing that it could have been taken from. It might just be a coincidence. There are only so many poses a figure can take.

Darkness U.S.A said...

i never cared much for speedball it was like marvel was trying to recapture the silver age of spiderman again

Anonymous said...


This is an ok Ditko cover. I like Speedball's pose. As far as the character goes, I thought it had potential but a new take on a teenage hero by Ditko needed to distinguish itself from Peter Parker. This strip lacked what Spider-Man had, great supporting characters and interesting sub-plots.

Nick Caputo