apparent hulk appearance in a charlton comic (ghostly haunts 37 – jan 1974) by steve ditko

this is a short article intended to identify a curiosity which may not be widely known about.  it is not supposed to be interpreted as being of the same order as some of the slightly tenuous links proposed in the overstreet price guide for prototypes of superhero characters in pre hero marvel comics

nor is it really intended to recommend that anyone seek out ghostly haunts 37 (a fairly minor example of charlton’s 1970s supernatural comics) for themselves

37a(c) charlton 1974

the scans surrounding this text show a reanimated neanderthal from the last strip in the comic, drawn to have the same size, build + hair as the hulk.  note in one of the frames he even looks similar in the face

37b(c) charlton 1974

it is common knowledge that ditko had a major dispute with stan lee over the rights to the characters he co created with him, primarily spiderman

he would have also been aware how near one artist is allowed to get to another’s work before ending up in court, so maybe this represents ditko going up to the line of infringing stan’s rights by virtually using one of lee + kirby’s copyright characters in his own work.  if this was the artist’s intention the strip could be interpreted as the equivalent in graphics of some sort of a defiant hand gesture to the company who appropriated his half of spiderman from him

on the other hand, although I’m pretty certain you can’t use the same superhero uniform without permission from whoever has it trade marked (green skin with ragged purple clothes must belong to marvel), possibly some anonymous colourist made that decision + maybe it’s the colour that draws the reader’s eye to the resemblance

perhaps in the pencils the hulk attributes would be less obvious + ditko just defaulted to them when the script asked for a giant neanderthal

someone should ask steve

  • useful links

start point for any research:

http://www.ditko-fever.com/contents.html

recent article:

http://comicsalliance.com/steve-ditko-writes-about-spider-man-creation/

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