August 5, 2008
Monsters Attack #1 
And of course Steve Ditko, who had a short story in every issue. This debut issue has the 6-page science fiction story "In Solid", very much a morality play in the vein of the old Marvel/Charlton work (in fact, it even has thematic echoes with the old Hamilton/Ditko "Stretching Things"). A criminal breaks into a science lab hoping to steal some notes, and ends up turning an experimental device on the scientist. This somehow makes the scientist's body absorb into the very fabric of the building, able to bring the walls or floors or machines to life. And of course, he's out for revenge.
This is a very strong story from Ditko, taking a clever visual idea and really running with it in the few pages he has. In fact, since Ditko in 3-D has been on my mind lately, I was briefly thinking how perfect this would have been as a back-up in SUBSTANCE a few years later, and then I realized that Ditko captured the 3-D look here without any need for special effects and glasses.
The scripting is also really good, capturing in very few words both the fear and confusion of the criminal and the anger and thirst for revenge of the scientist. If this had been in those old Marvel or Charlton comics of the 1950s, I think it would be considered one of the highlights of that era.
I hope at some point we see a collection of the various short pieces like this that Ditko owns the rights to (along with a collection of Mr. A). There's some good stuff in there that hasn't been widely seen.