I took my son and a friend to the Philadelphia Comic Con last Saturday, so I’ve spent the last few days immersed in classic comics. That got me to poking around the web, and I stumbled upon “In Search of Steve Ditko,” a documentary from the BBC in which Jonathan Ross explores the strange world of artist Steve Ditko (co-creator of Spiderman).
The reclusive Ditko cleaves to a radical objectivism that began to creep into his work starting with The Question (the model for the Watchmem’s Rorschach) and reached full flower with his Randian superhero, Mr. A. It’s really very good documentary with interviews from Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, John Romito, Stan Lee, and others. Despite featuring only a few old snapshots of Ditko and a few seconds of his voice, it nonetheless manages to capture the appeal of this elusive, unusual artist, and the strange limits of his stark black-and-white, good or evil worldview.
The problem with objectivists is that they fail to understand the consequences of the fall of man, and thus respond to evil with a strict and violent justice untempered by mercy. Even in the world of comic book villains, that’s not a rational response to the problem of evil.