February 3, 2006

Mystery In Space #111 [1980]

In addition to the various super-hero features (both of his own creation and pre-existing characters) that Ditko drew for DC over the years, he also did a few dozen non-continuity short stories for their anthology books. An odd mix of material, similar to some of the Charlton stuff of the same era, but usually at least better printed, and with a lot of different writers and a few different inkers.

MYSTERY IN SPACE #111 starts a short-lived revival of the old DC sci-fi anthology. The Ditko contribution to the issue is "Once Upon A Time Machine", a 7-page story drawn by Ditko and written by Mike Barr, featuring a scholar from the future who steals a time machine in order to investigate his theory that fairy tales have a basis in fact, a line of research dismissed by his superiors as frivolous. And I gotta say, they have a point. But young Merrill won't take defeat lightly, and finds himself as the source for the very stories he was researching (although for a supposed scholar in the field it often takes him quite a while to catch on to what he did).

Pretty good story, and Ditko gets to draw a nice combination of his fantasy and sci-fi styles throughout. I especially like those inky tendrils of the time-stream as the machine travels in a few panels.

"Once Upon A Time Machine" J-6551

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