Friday, October 01, 2010

Steve Ditko Cover of the Week: Outer Space #21

Here's one that you may not have seen before. Outer Space was a very short-lived Charlton title from the late 50s, lasting a mere 9 issues. A single issue series with the same name was launched in 1968. This is the only Ditko cover from the series. While it is certainly a step down from his more iconic covers for Charlton, there are still some interesting things to note. First, the design of the spacecraft is very similar to what we will see him produce for Marvel stories in the early 60s and even those from the cover to Shade, the Changing Man #8, nearly 20 years later. I also really like the domed helmets worn by the two astronauts here - as I they look quite retro, even for 1959. Ditko's cover design is interesting, as it almost plays a trick on the reader. The main figures are so prominent that, at first, they appear to be en route to exploring a new world. It is only upon closer inspection that we see that their hands are bound and that they are, in fact, captives. With the giant caption, Charlton goes out of its way to prove that Marvel is not alone in its ability to ruin a cover.

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