February 7, 2006

Legends of the DC Universe 80-Page Giant #1 [1998]

Ditko's last published[*] original material for a mainstream publisher to date was a 10-page Spectre story written by Bill Mumy and Peter David and inked by Kevin Nowlan in this 1998 special. Nowlan's inking is quite often overpowering to any penciller, and that's definitely the case here. In particular the face of the Spectre seems to be almost all Nowlan, as do a few other things. To be fair, though, Ditko's pencils are known to be very loose, whether he inks the final work or not, so most things inked by others that look like "classic Ditko" probably take just as many liberties with the pencils, just leaning towards an imitation of a particular era of Ditko's own style. And the bits of Ditko that come through Nowlan's inks are pretty strong.

"The Depths Of Despair" features Jim Corrigan in the early days of his Spectre identity falling in love with a girl who is plagued by nightmares about the death of her twin as a child aboard the Titanic decades earlier, for which she blames herself. Seeing a chance for an ironic vengeance lesson, the Spectre takes her back in time to the sinking of the ship to confront her guilt.

[*] There was apparently a back-up story for the ORION series done after this that was finished but never published.
[well, it wasn't when I wrote this, but  it has been now]

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