May 16, 2007

Revolver #3 [1986]

Ditko writes and draws the 12-page story "The Expert" for this issue of the Robin Snyder edited anthology from Renegade. The story is apparently a revision of the story of the same name that I don't have, published in QUESTAR #3 [1979], which is listed as a 6-page story. The pages are printed sideways, in landscape format, in this story, so I'm assuming that each page of the original was split into two pages here, among other changes.

The story is one of those Ditko ones where he seemed to get ahead of himself, probably knowing more of the backstory than he manages to get into a coherent form on the actual page, so it's very high on action and energy, very low on characterization. The story has a despot named Zar who is opposed by two rebels named Cela and Raig, as well as the treachery of one of his own men, Xex. Boy, sometimes you could just type in letters at random and get Ditko names...

The art is much better than the story, really slick and exciting space opera, really detailed classic Ditko art (I'm also struck by how much, in stories like this, you can see Ditko's influence on popular "cosmic" artists of the era like Steve Rude and Jim Starlin. Zar would fit neatly as a villain in NEXUS or DREADSTAR).

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