Monday, 10 April 2017


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

Yet another cover variation for you, Criv-ite chums,
this time 'round The AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #11.  Up
above is how STEVE DITKO originally drew it, but fearless
leader STAN LEE wasn't happy with the way Sturdy Steve
had drawn the web-spinner's legs, so got Jolly JACK KIRBY
to 'fix' them before publication (as you can see below).  And,
as I'm sure you'll already have noticed, DOC OCK's face
looks like it's also been slightly revised.

But wait, that's not all!  When the ish was reprinted in
MARVEL TALES #148 in 1982, the cover was flipped,
Spider-Man's legs were again redrawn, Doc Ock's face was
'slimmed down' even more - and he was given a new pair
of glasses that didn't quite sit right.  Three versions of the
same cover is going a bit overboard, even for Marvel!

So whaddya make of that, frantic ones?  Personally,
I don't think the right leg Jack drew is an improvement.
Feel free to leave a comment in the you-know-where.

And just so you don't feel like you're missing out on
anything, below is the Marvel Tales version.  (How to
ruin a Steve Ditko cover without even trying.)


Nick Caputo said...


I can see that Lee probably felt the way Spidey's legs were posed looked a little awkward but Kirby's fix STILL makes them awkward,and the webbing on the boots are all wrong! If Ditko didn't have time to make the correction I would have left it as is. Having said that i also understand that it's easy to be judgmental decades later; in reality Lee had lots of comic books to get on the stands every month and didn't have time to analyze every point.

Kid said...

Very true, Nick, 'though I suspect Stan would've noticed that Jack's 'fix' wasn't really an improvement, but by that time it was probably too late to get it redone again. Jack's version of the left leg is okay-ish, but the right one is too short. If Jack had left that one alone and matched the left boot's webbing to the right, then I think it would've worked. Thanks for dropping by, always a pleasure.

Rip Jagger said...

I read somewhere (Alter Ego probably) that Stan did not like to see the soles of feet, somehow thought that took away from the heroic stance. So that might be why he requested the change. It's weird.

Rip Off

Kid said...

Perhaps, but I would've thought it'd depend on the character's position, RJ. When he's just been knocked on his @rse on the floor, it's likely that the soles of his feet are going to be visible, depending on the reader's pov. If true, Stan had his work cut out for him with Ditko as he was always drawing Spidey's soles jumping out of the panels towards the reader. I think the way Steve drew him on this cover made Spidey look as if he was shrinking away from Doc Ock (and the foot does look a bit odd as well), which is why Stan probably had it redrawn.

TC said...

I never heard that about not showing the soles of the hero's feet before. Weird.

Presumably, the 1982 reprint had to flip the cover image to allow for the UPC bar code. Direct sales editions (that were sold only in the comic book specialty shops) did not have the bar code, so the box would instead have a logo, a Spider-Man face, or whatever.

Kid said...

That would explain flipping the cover, TC, but not ruining Doc Ock's face. What were they thinking?

John Pitt said...

I think Stan got it right, the new leg and Doc's face were better.
But the Marvel Tales cover, Doc was far too thin.

Kid said...

Well, Spidey's got two new legs, JP, but I don't think the right one is an improvement (too small, it looks stunted). The left one's a bit better, but it's a shame Jack didn't match the webbing to the way that Steve drew it.

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