March 28, 2007

Time Warp #3 [1980]

The recent posts on Ditko's LSH stories brought quite a bit of traffic and comments, including some from the creator of Doctor Mayavale. It also brought a question about other DeMatteis/Ditko stories, and I think a piece in DC's short lived sci-fi anthology is the only one.

"The Dimensions Of Greed" is a 7-page story about two criminals on the recently colonized Mars who rob a casino, killing two guards, and go to hide in the Martian ruins. They find a hidden chamber that leads them to a device which transports them to a surreal dimension about halfway between a Doctor Strange drawing and Shade's Area of Madness, where they meet the original Martians, lumpy green four-eyed (all in a row) creatures who had left the planet years ago. The crooks try to deceive the Martians in order to steal their gems, but when they escape find they went back in time and replaced the guards they had killed during their original heist, setting an endless time-loop in progress.

Nice little story, very much in the style of old Charlton or Atlas stories Ditko worked on, and a much better look at Ditko's skills around 1980 than his LSH work, especially since he handles the inks as well. Those weird Ditko renderings of alien dimensions are always nice to see.

Ditko has another story in this issue, the 3-page "On The Day Of His Return" by the writing team of Dan Mishkin and Gary Cohn, who would later go on to create AMETHYST and BLUE DEVIL. This one has a spaceship captain hit an uncharted spacewarp, where he finds an out-of-place cabin on a snow-covered world. The bearded fat man in red's identity is immediately obvious to the reader, but the captain takes another page to figure it out as he hitches a ride home on a reindeer drawn sleigh. Very goofy, and the little text at the end about rediscovering faith and magic is kind of amusing in how it probably runs completely opposite to Ditko's objectivism. We do get one of those great Ditko double-takes when the captain realizes he's talking to an elf.

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