April 4, 2007

Revolver #4 [1986]

Ditko writes and draws the 8-page "The Hand of Ages" for this issue of Robin Snyder's anthology series REVOLVER. A man buys a stolen mummy in a middle east town, only to have the stolen mummy grab his hand, transforming it to a monstrous form with an urge to kill. He leaves a trail of bodies through the world while pursued by another figure, finally leading to the hand forcing him to kill his wife. He hears a rumour about a doctor who theorizes that the killer is carrying a fungus which can be cured, but the doctor turns out to be the original mummy, whose attempt to come back from the dead was interrupted by the loss of his hand. The two eventually kill each other, leaving a twitching hand on the floor.

Boy, Ditko does like creepy hand-based storytelling, doesn't he? Cute little story, a few bits about the guy pursuing the cursed thief might have been a little clearer, but I liked it. Some of Ditko's work that appeared in REVOLVER was clearly meant for Charlton, and this one looks like it might have fit there.

[see comments, Nick mentions that it was probably for a Whitman/Gold Key line of the time that was discontinued before any of the Ditko work they had lined up was published]

Ditko also does the cover for this issue, based on the story, a great piece with a mummy, a giant green hand, huge floating eyes, and more.


  1. This story was probably intended for Whitman/Gold Key, not Charlton. Revolver used a lot of unpublished material that originally was to be published by Whitman, including Star-Guider (much of it was advertised in The Comic Reader and other fanzines). A mystery title was also intended to be published by Whitman, but the books were cancelled and, I believe, the comics line discontinued, before any Ditko work saw the light of day (including Ditko's version of Flash Gordon). One noticable clue to the art's origins is the lettering by Bill Spicer. Spicer was a professional letterer who, if memory serves, did work for Gold Key but not for Charlton, as far as I know.

    Nick Caputo

  2. Thanks for the info, Nick. I didn't know about that one. Ditko doing Flash Gordon, eh? That would have been interesting. I have a nearly complete run of The Comic Reader from that era, but haven't looked through all of them. I'll have to see if I can track down the issues mentioning that line.



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