|Copyright DC COMICS|
So there I was, sitting on my grandparents' itchy red bed-settee (of which long-time readers will perhaps already be aware) one Sunday afternoon back in the mid-'70s, perusing #1 of DC COMICS new monthly title, STALKER. I remember buying it in R.S. McCOLL's, either that day or the day before, and I'd taken it with me to pass the time away. I probably had other comics along with me as well, but though I likely associate them with that red settee on an individual basis, I don't connect them either to one another or even that particular Sunday.
Okay, the issues have now arrived and been added, along with splash pages, to this post. I've also read all four of them (though despite my aspiration, not in one sitting as I kept falling asleep), and if you're interested in my verdict, I'll be more than happy to tell you. The first ish sets up an interesting premise, but #s 2-4 fail to deliver, being quite tedious and repetitive, with the story being told mainly through captions rather than dialogue. One gets the impression that writer Paul Levitz hasn't mapped it all out in advance and is simply making up each individual episode as he goes along. Surprisingly, I found myself underwhelmed by the Ditko/Wood art, which is merely okay and not the 'knock you out of your socks' masterpiece that you'd expect from two titans of the comicbook medium.
Would it have improved if it had reached issue 5 and beyond? On the strength of the first four, I don't think I'd have continued buying it back in the day so I'd never have found out! If you bought, read, and enjoyed the title when it was first published and disagree with my assessment, feel free to tell me in the comments section.