March 18, 2009

Ghostly Tales #117 [1975]

Ditko draws "Gremlin in the Cockpit", an 8-page story by Joe Molloy. An American plane is shot at during WWII, with most of the crew bailing out as the pilot takes it down in the mountains. The crew go to find the plane, which has landed perfectly, but inside find the pilot dead at the controls with a broken neck. One of the crew spouts some nonsense about Gremlins, but the others don't believe it, fix the plane and take off. As they fly into a storm, the Gremlin suddenly appears and attacks the crew, only to be killed by the ghost of the captain, brought back by his love for his crew.

Not one of the more inspired stories of the mid-1970s, and the first half doesn't have much of visual interest either, but the story makes up for it in the last few pages when the Gremlin appears, looking suitably demonic, and then the fight with the heroic fighter pilot ghost. That stuff is golden.

1 comment:

  1. This is not one of my favorite stories by Ditko, mainly because it typifies the less datailed, sparse art he produced in this period. Background art is only used in the first and fifth panel. Ditko figures also look stiffer than usual and his pen line is weak. Ditko's best work is seen in panel 4, where he adds some strength to the composition with his use of blacks.

    Nick C.



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