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Journey into Mystery #1-104 (June 1952 - May 1964; #83-104 Thor + science-fiction stories; #105-125 only superheroes).

Journey into Mystery #72The first Journey into Mystery series was initially a horror-fantasy anthology published by Marvel Comics' 1950s forerunner, Atlas Comics, with a first issue cover-dated June 1952. Beginning with issue #83 (Aug. 1962), the title starred the Norse god superhero Thor. The anthological stories, by now primarily science fiction-fantasy, gradually diminished after this, with the Thor-spinoff backup feature "Tales of Asgard" beginning in issue #97 (Oct. 1963). They were dropped entirely with issue #105 (June 1964), when the "Thor" feature expanded from 13 to 18 pages. With the previous issue, the cover logo had changed to Journey into Mystery with the Mighty Thor. Its final issue was #125 (Feb. 1966), after which the series was retitled The Mighty Thor in its trademarked cover logo and simply Thor in its postal indicia copyright notice. An oversized annual publication, featuring Thor, was released in 1965.

Journey into Mystery #69 and the teen-humor title Patsy Walker #95 (both June 1961) are the first modern comic books labeled "Marvel Comics", with each showing an "MC" box on its cover.

Stephen J. "Steve" Ditko (born November 2, 1927)is an American comic book artist and writer best known as the artist and co-creator, with Stan Lee, of the Marvel Comics heroes Spider-Man and Doctor Strange.

Upon graduating from Johnstown High School in 1945,he enlisted in the U.S. Army on October 26, 1945,and did military service in postwar Germany, where he drew comics for an Army newspaper.

Following his discharge,Steve Ditko learned that his idol, Batman artist Jerry Robinson, was teaching at the Cartoonists and Illustrators School (later the School of Visual Arts) in New York City. Moving there in 1950, he enrolled in the art school under the G.I. Bill.

Ditko began professionally illustrating comic books in early 1953, illustrating writer Bruce Hamilton's science-fiction story "Stretching Things" for the Key Publications imprint Stanmor Publications, which sold the story to Ajax/Farrell, where it finally found publication in Fantastic Fears #5 (Feb. 1954). Ditko's first published work was his second professional story, the six-page "Paper Romance" in Daring Love #1 (Oct. 1953), published by the Key imprint Gillmor Magazines.

Shortly afterward, Ditko found work at the studio of celebrated writer-artists Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. Beginning as an inker on backgrounds, Ditko was soon working with and learning from Mort Meskin, an artist whose work he had long admired. "Meskin was fabulous," Ditko once recalled. "I couldn't believe the ease with which he drew: strong compositions, loose pencils, yet complete; detail without clutter. I loved his stuff". Ditko's known assistant work includes aiding inker Meskin on the Jack Kirby pencil work of Harvey Comics' Captain 3-D #1 (Dec. 1953). For his own third published story, Ditko penciled and inked the six-page "A Hole in His Head" in Black Magic vol. 4, #3 (Dec. 1953), published by Simon & Kirby's Crestwood Publications imprint Prize Comics.Steve Ditko

Ditko then began a long association with the Derby, Connecticut publisher Charlton Comics, a low-budget division of a company best known for song-lyric magazines. Beginning with the cover of The Thing #12 (Feb. 1954) and the eight-page vampire story "Cinderella" in that issue, Ditko would continue to work intermittently for Charlton until the company's demise in 1986, producing science fiction, horror and mystery stories, as well as co-creating Captain Atom, with writer Joe Gill, in 1960. He first went on hiatus from the company, and comics altogether, in mid-1954, when he contracted tuberculosis and returned to his parents' home in Johnstown to recuperate.

After he recovered and moved back to New York City in late 1955, Ditko began drawing for Atlas Comics, the 1950s precursor of Marvel Comics, beginning with the four-page "There'll Be Some Changes Made" in Journey into Mystery #33 (April 1956). Ditko would go on to contribute a large number of stories, many considered classic, to Atlas/Marvel's Strange Tales and the newly launched Amazing Adventures, Strange Worlds, Tales of Suspense and Tales to Astonish, issues of which would typically open with a Kirby-drawn monster story, followed by one or two twist-ending thrillers or sci-fi tales drawn by Don Heck, Paul Reinman, or Joe Sinnott, all capped by an often-surreal, sometimes self-reflexive short by Ditko and writer-editor Stan Lee.

These bagatelles proved so popular that Amazing Adventures was reformatted to feature such stories exclusively beginning with issue #7 (Dec. 1961), when the comic was rechristened Amazing Adult Fantasy — a name intended to reflect its more "sophisticated" nature, as likewise the new tagline "The magazine that respects your intelligence". Lee in 2009 described these "short, five-page filler strips that Steve and I did together", originally "placed in any of our comics that had a few extra pages to fill", as "odd fantasy tales that I'd dream up with O. Henry-type endings." Giving an early example of what would later be known as the "Marvel Method" of writer-artist collaboration, Lee said, "All I had to do was give Steve a one-line description of the plot and he'd be off and running. He'd take those skeleton outlines I had given him and turn them into classic little works of art that ended up being far cooler than I had any right to expect."Journey into Mystery #57

After Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Stan Lee obtained permission from publisher Martin Goodman to create a new "ordinary teen" superhero named "Spider-Man", Lee originally approached his leading artist, Jack Kirby. Kirby showed Lee the first six pages, and, as Lee recalled, "I hated the way he was doing it. Not that he did it badly — it just wasn't the character I wanted; it was too heroic".

Lee turned to Ditko, who developed a visual motif Lee found satisfactory. Spider-Man debuted in Amazing Fantasy #15 (Aug. 1962), the final issue of that science-fiction/fantasy anthology series. When the issue proved to be a top seller, Spider-Man was given his own series, The Amazing Spider-Man. After drawing the final issue of The Incredible Hulk (#6, March 1963), Ditko co-created with Lee the supernatural hero Doctor Strange, in Strange Tales #110 (July 1963).

Whichever feature he drew, Ditko's idiosyncratic, cleanly detailed, instantly recognizable art style, emphasizing mood and anxiety, found great favor with readers. The character of Spider-Man and his troubled personal life meshed well with Ditko's own interests, which Lee eventually acknowledged by giving the artist plotting credits on the latter part of their 38-issue run. But after four years on the title, Ditko left Marvel; he and Lee had not been on speaking terms for some time, with art and editorial changes handled through intermediaries.

Back at Charlton Ditko worked on such characters as Blue Beetle (1967–1968), the Question (1967–1968), Captain Atom (1965–1967), returning to the character he'd co-created in 1960. Ditko moved to DC Comics in 1968 where he created the Creeper and Hawk and Dove. Ditko's stay at DC was short, from this time up through the mid-1970s, Ditko worked exclusively for Charlton and various small press/independent publishers.

Ditko returned to Marvel in 1979, taking over Jack Kirby's Machine Man, drawing The Micronauts, co-creating Captain Universe, and continuing to freelance for the company into the late 1990s. In 1982, he also began freelancing for independent comics. Ditko retired from mainstream comics in 1998.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Journey into Mystery #62