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Better Amazing Fantasy #15 Cover


Ron Hightower
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Better Amazing Fantasy #15 Cover  

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AmazingFantasy15.jpg

AmazingFantasy15Alt.jpg

 

In 1962, when Spider-Man was created, Steve Ditko had done a cover for Amazing Fantasy #15 that was rejected. As legend has it, Jack Kirby stepped in and did a cover that everyone seemed to feel captured the idea of Spider-Man best. I've presented both covers and just wanted an opinion on which should of been used. Now, I know the Kirby cover is iconic and is the rightful cover, but imagine yourself in 1962 and you had to choose which to put on newsstands. Discuss.

Edited by Ron Hightower
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They chose the right one. Ditko's cover is good, but not as an introduction cover. Aa Diamond mentioned, looking up at him gives him a much more powerful presence. It also adds to his mystique because you're seeing him from the ground (or closer to it, at least) as one of the other characters would, not from the birds-eye perch of an uninvolved comic reader. Looking up at him also serves to highlight Spidey's most impressive and iconic ability - his web-swinging. And finally, the final covers does the most important thing when introducing a superhero - it shows off the costume! Ditko's cover would have been fine for issue #2 or #3 (or #16 or #17 in this case) but for the first issue, you don't want anything blocking the reader's view of the costume.

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Do you think that if the other cover was used that Spider-Man would of been as big as he is today?

Yes, we would have been. Spider-Man had so many elements the comic book world was desperately needing that no poorly conceived cover could have stunted his path to stardom. Now, a substantive change, like not making him a teenager, or not making him a nerd, or whatever, that could have made the difference.

 

Also, I like the darker tone of the actual cover.

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I totally agree with everyone, but what about the Ditko cover? What does IT do that's better?

 

Ditko's cover isn't at all bad, but there's not a whole lot that it does better. You're right, Spider-man's name is bigger, though whether that is better or not depends on personal taste. Ditko's cover has a lot more color and humor in it than Kirby's, and you could argue that it may suit the character better than the darker more dramatic version - at least the character as we know him today. Ditko's cover also illustrates the public reaction and celebrity aspect that would become an important part of Spidey's mythos throughout all the books. Kirby's cover is about Spider-man carrying a guy and introducing himself to the readers. Ditko's cover is about everyone on the street watching Spider-man carry the guy. Both covers feature a lot of ambiguity. We don't know anything about the man in Spidey's hand. We don't know if he's a criminal or an innocent, we don't know if he's being rescued, captured, or kidnapped. And the people on the ground don't know either. Ditko's cover is about those people not being sure if they can trust this masked man. Kirby's cover puts you in the place of the people on ground so that you as the reader are not sure if you can trust this masked man. It's a matter of perspective and personal taste really.

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Yes, we would have been. Spider-Man had so many elements the comic book world was desperately needing that no poorly conceived cover could have stunted his path to stardom. Now, a substantive change, like not making him a teenager, or not making him a nerd, or whatever, that could have made the difference.

 

Also, I like the darker tone of the actual cover.

 

 

So who, would you say, had more to do with the development of Spidey... Ditko or Stan Lee?

 

To answer SIBob's post...

 

Remember, the dark tone of the Kirby cover DOES FIT the actual issue. The death of Uncle Ben and the reason Peter CONTINUES as Spider-Man.

Edited by Ron Hightower
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To answer SIBob's post...

 

Remember, the dark tone of the Kirby cover DOES FIT the actual issue. The death of Uncle Ben and the reason Peter CONTINUES as Spider-Man.

 

I agree. That's why I said it fits more in line with how we know the character today, rather than how he was back then.

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isn't this suppose to be anonymous voting??

 

Yeah, but I don't see the big deal. Some people voted for the other cover and nobody is saying anything about it. I'd just like to hear the other side.

 

wow.. folkz that understand art.. im in luv w every1 in here :'-)

 

Thanks... so which do you like and why?

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It's anonymous voting, but you are allowed to ask people who they voted for.

 

And SB, I dis agree with this

 

Both covers feature a lot of ambiguity. We don't know anything about the man in Spidey's hand. We don't know if he's a criminal or an innocent, we don't know if he's being rescued, captured, or kidnapped.

 

In the actual cover, the man in spider-man's arms has a brutish, oafish face. Particularly in the campy pulpy world of comic at the time, characters fell into these sort of standard archetypes. Criminals were boorish and respectable citizens were clean-shaven, upstanding looking types. In the rejected cover, the man's face is not clearly visible. It wasn't just a typical of the time, it was formalized in the comic book code. Moral ambiguity was so frowned upon that bad guys had to look like bad guys. We have to understand art in the context of its time and anyone in 1962 could be able to recognize the man in Spider-Man's arms as a criminal.

Edited by Reverend Jax
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It's amazing (no pun intended), but I was thinking the same thing, Jax! It's almost like they were marketing the comic to different audiences. The Ditko cover looks more approachable, in my opinion. Kids would see that and say 'poppa, I wanna buy that there cartoon book'. Were's the Kirby one would scare some folks. 'Is that there spider man on his way to eat that poor fellah?'

 

No, but seriously... that guys face is a dead giveaway that he's a thug.

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Well seeing as Amazing Fantasy was simply a collection of science fiction stories along the lines of Weird Tales the first cover is really more appropriote. That's what the second cover (and the new Amazing Fantasy) series don't seem to get, it wasn't merely a medium for which to introduce new superheroes in fact the other 2 stories in Amazing Fantasy #15 (The Bell Ringer and something with martians I forget the title) were cut from an entirely different cloth. Ditko's cover is more appropriote for when Spider-Man became its own series proper, Kirby's fit more for the audience that read Amazing Fantasy to begin with.

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Well, before issue 15 the book was called Amazing ADULT Fantasy. I'm sure that the introduction of Spider-Man had the publishers thinking that they were on to something special. I imagine the drop of 'Adult' was to help sell more issue and just generally have more looks. I think that maybe Ditko had his own vision for the character (after all he was co-creator), but Stan Lee and others at the company really just pushed Ditko to the side (I've read before that they were cruel to him). He's not a great artist, but still a legend regardless.

Edited by Ron Hightower
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ive never even seen the 2nd one, thats really cool.

the first one's too iconic at this point to make any kinda comparison, though i like the reasons most of you guys had. for one, spidey's still got one of the greatest starting costumes of any comic character ive seen, so yeah, showing it is important.

 

you know, if kirby had an alternate Captain America # 1, featuring anything other than Cap slugging hitler, itd be hard to even entertain the idea.

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Yeah, Steve Ditko hit it outta the ballpark with Spidey's costume... it's perfect. Looking at the iconic cover, it's almost like Jack Kirby NEW Spider-Man was gonna be big and wanted him to have a cover for the ages.

 

Cap's cover is something else, man! Imagine an artist TODAY drawing a cover with a hero punching an evil dictator... oh wait...

119-1.jpg

 

OR endorsing a black president...

savagedragonobama.gif

 

Woah...

Edited by Ron Hightower
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Well, before issue 15 the book was called Amazing ADULT Fantasy. I'm sure that the introduction of Spider-Man had the publishers thinking that they were on to something special. I imagine the drop of 'Adult' was to help sell more issue and just generally have more looks.

Back when it was Amazing ADULT Fantasy, it was the magazine that respected my intelligence.

 

Amazing_Adult_Fantasy_issue_7.jpg

 

What happened to you Amazing ADULT Fantasy? You used to be cool! You changed.

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