A post from my old Marvel blog re-presenting a story by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko from TALES TO ASTONISH #26
As a little treat/follow up to our coverage of Jonathan Ross’s Steve Ditko documentary, here’s a five-page story from one of the Pre-Hero Marvel monster mags that’s been making the rounds.
There’s not an awful lot to this tale, but it does perfectly encapsulate the air of strangeness and paranoia that permeated Ditko’s work. And the storytelling is so spot-on that you can completely follow the story just from the visuals, without reading any of the copy at all. (Admittedly, there’s not a whole lot of story to have to follow…)
These little short vignettes were Ditko’s stock-in-trade at the beginning of the 1960s, and a real favorite of Stan Lee’s to work on. They were clearly inspired by the popularity of the then-new Twilight Zone series. Stan had enough faith in them as a concept to devote an entire series to just this kind of story, AMAZING ADULT FANTASY, entirely produced by himself and Ditko (while Kirby worked on the new FANTASTIC FOUR series–AAF was positioned as a sort of spiritual sister title to the FF, and shared a logo style with it.)
Of course, it didn’t work out for AMAZING ADULT FANTASY as well as for FF, and in a failed attempt to save the series, Stan and Steve would go on to debut a new super hero character in the pages of what would wind up being the last issue, Spider-Man.