January 2, 2010

Where Creatures Roam #3 [1970]

Two Ditko 5-page reprints in this issue.

"I Am The Victim Of The Sorcerer" is from TALES TO ASTONISH #16 [1961], a great little showcase for Ditko's art, featuring a confused and desperate man on the city streets at night, with no memory of who he is or how he got there, but with a a definite sense of fear of an evil entity drawing him closer.  The level of increasing despair Ditko brings to the character as he approaches his inevitable end is intense.  I especially like how for pages 4 and 5, he changes the layout to a less common 4 panels per row, increasing the sense of constriction the character is feeling and making the reveal in the last larger panel all the more satisfying.  Definitely a highlight among the many great shorts Ditko did in that period.

Later in the issue is "I Live Again" from TALES TO ASTONISH #8 [1960]. It's a sequel to "I Spent Midnight With The Thing On Bald Mountain", which was reprinted in the previous issue.  It's a comparatively lesser story, as the statue come to life survives its fall from the previous story (with some selective memory about what caused it), terrorizes the nearby village, then decides to head for America to fulfil its dreams of world conquest. So he takes over a fleeing ship, orders it to head to the US, sinks it as it gets close to Florida, just to be mean. Fortunately for Earth it decides to hide out in a steel structure in a fenced in field to plan some more, which just happens to be a rocket being fired out into deep space.  Seriously. Oh well, at least Ditko does his usual good job with the art to elevate the story.  The stone texture of the creature is great, and it punching out an alligator and tossing around a bull is kind of funny.

The cover is the Kirby/Ditko cover from TALES TO ASTONISH #16 [1961], with a lot of little modifications as was common for cover reprints at Marvel around that time.

1 comment:

  1. I've never seen this story before. From the sample above, it certainly does look well worth a look.