Monday, January 05, 2009

Steve Ditko Cover of the Week: Stalker #3

Stalker is a funny little series - it's kind of interesting but never really did all that much for me. Perhaps it was cancelled (imploded?) before truly hitting its stride. The real highlight is the collaboration between Steve Ditko and Wally Wood. Wood bring a bit of structure to Ditko's figures and background without stripping it of that Ditko charm (as I felt Ralph Reese did with the early 90s Magnus stories). This is my favourite cover of the series - as the battle between the two main figures has a nice three dimensional feel. I could have lived without the female at the bottom right corner, as she really breaks up the flow of the image. The caption is also very intrusive, but we're talking the 70s here so I guess that it can't really be avoided. A solid effort for Ditko & Wood, but I really wonder if that woman was the result of some editorial interference. It has that 'Make it look more Marvel' vibe that hurt so many Atlas-Seaboard covers.

2 comments:

Dan Bailey said...

Stalker would also have been some of Paul Levitz' very first work as a pro, no? Looking back, it's probably the first time I ever noticed his name.

(I guess most new DC writers back then used the "mystery" anthologies as breaking-in venues, but for whatever reasons I'd discontinued reading those a few years earlier ... except for DOORWAY INTO NIGHTMARE, which memory tells me featured full-length stories instead of shorts, anyway.)

R. W. Watkins said...

I have the complete Stalker series. The stories are rather contrived, but still fun stuff. I have complete runs of nearly all those DC sword and sorcery titles (Claw, Tor, Kong, etc.) from the mid '70s, by the way. I think the Beowulf series was probably the best, particularly #3 ('Man-Apes & Magic'). Ironically, the only title they stuck with, Warlord, never much appealed to me....