5 Underrated Steve Ditko Comic Creations That Deserve Cinematic Adventures

This iconic artist left fans with several valued concepts.
Underrated Steve Ditko Comic Creations That Deserve Cinematic Adventures
source: Hero Collector

Comic fans around the world waved a collective farewell to a true pioneer of comic books in the summer of 2019. Artist and occasional writer Steve Ditko entered the comics world in the early 1950s and completely elevated the medium with his vivid imagination.

Steve Ditko's collaboration with Stan Lee gave way to perhaps Marvel Comics' most iconic superhero in The Amazing Spider-Man.

Following Spider-Man's immediate success, Ditko and Lee collaborated on another new hero, the black magic magician... Doctor Strange.

While Spider-Man and Doctor Strange have become well-established film franchises, Ditko's numerous comic creations have failed to have their time to bask in the Hollywood limelight. With superhero mania on an all-time high, now seems to be as good a time as any for Steve Ditko's comic genius to be recognized.

Hawk & Dove
source: DC Universe Infinite

Here are the 5 underrated Steve Ditko comic creations that deserve cinematic adventures:

5. Hawk & Dove

A frequent pairing within the DC Universe, siblings Hank and Don Hill gained powers from the in order to fight for justice as a crime-fighting superhero duo. With the moniker of Hawk and Dove, Hank and Don while occasionally coming into contact with established DC superheroes such as Batman and The Flash.

Though Hawk and Dove are equipped with the average super strength, durability, and stamina, the heroes even with an early warning sense not unlike another of Ditko's classic superheroes. The Hawk and Dove legacy has even transcended past the Hills to another sibling duo in Holly and Dawn Granger.

As the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has helped showcase, superhero ensemble features are truly the gambles that tend to bring in the audiences. Though Hawk and Dove have yet to make the leap to the big screen, the duo has made memorable appearances in a variety of animated programs and live-action TV shows including HBO Max's Titans.

The Creeper
source: CBR

4. The Creeper

Introduced in the DC Comics Showcase #73, television news reporter/talk show host Jack Ryder a.k.a. The Creeper. As a personality specializing in everyday communication, Ryder's sensibilities naturally carried over into his nights defending the streets of Gotham as a crime-fighting crusader. 

A generally offbeat creation, Creeper remained another Ditko oddity before gradually transitioning into the Batman mythology of comics. As The Creeper began to evolve as a humorous character, other creators made Ryder a near satire on the comic book genre that even rivals the likes of She-Hulk or Deadpool.

Similar to Hawk and Dove, The Creeper as well as civilian alter ego Jack Ryder have been translated to the screen via animated television and video game appearance. The Batman films have always had an arm steeped in darkness and reality but it may be time to switch things up and revisit the campy and convivial nature of The Dark Knight's early days. 

Blue Beetle
source: What Culture

3. Blue Beetle

While an HBO Max feature film based on the Jaime Reyes iteration of Blue Beetle is in development, the character's fabled comic history truly kicked off with Ted Kord. Kord received air time courtesy of Steve Ditko in 1983's Captain Atom #83 and became the second individual to take up the Blue Beetle mantle.

Ted's powers consist of genius-level intellect and martial arts with additional proficiency in acrobatics, espionage, and hacking. Without the Scarab-enabled superpowers of his predecessor, Kord needed to rely on advanced technology, athletics, and fighting prowess even more than other heroes. 

Apart from minor appearances in CW's Superman prequel Smallville, Kord and his alter ego have been kept from DC's of television and film programming. It's possible for the Blue Beetle feature to include at least a few easter eggs or references to Kord's tenure as the Beetle before picking up the current story with Reyes. 

Squirrel Girl
source: WBUR

2. Squirrel Girl

Doreen Green a.k.a. Squirrel Girl is one of the more recent Steve Ditko creations to make an impact on comic book readership. Premiering in 1992's Marvel Superheroes #8, Squirrel Girl may have begun as a fairly uninspired addition to the Marvel Universe but it was Ditko's precedence that gave way to an innovative new Marvel hero.

It was Green's overwhelming popularity with fans that saw the character join the ranks of The Great Lake Avengers.  A few years before the launch of Disney +, Marvel nearly commissioned a New Warriors (co-starring Squirrel Girl) television series for Freeform, before ultimately being axed by the network.

In the decades since her creation, Squirrel Girl has become an extremely beloved and underestimated hero within the pages of Marvel Comics. Not to mention the threat that the character has become for premiere big bad Doctor Doom.

The Question
source: The Hollywood Reporter

1. The Question

Hailed as the greatest detective of the DC Universe (yes even more than Batman), Vic Sage a.k.a. The Question is unlike anything Steve Ditko has ever accomplished in comics. Whereas Steve strived for big with Marvel's Doctor Strange, Ditko's The Question took the writer/artist back to reality with a grounded hero operating on a level.

A detective operating out of crime-infested Hub City, The Question is a who regularly solves crimes that prove detrimental to his city's wellbeing. Sage originally appeared in Charlton Comics before making his way to the DC line of comics in 1983, just in time for the massive crossover event Crisis on Infinite Earths.

The Question is not a superhero who relies on brawn or unique powers to get the job done his intellect in solving crimes and puzzles. The Question's expressionless face design alone is a that would lend itself to a cinematic portrayal on the big or small screen.

Upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe ventures Spider-Man No Way Home and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness owe their entire existence to Steve Ditko, who helped bring the two comic mainstays to life.

When fans think of Marvel or DC Comics artists, some of the obvious talents that may come to mind are Jack Kirby, Frank Miller, Jim Lee, or Darwyn Cooke. While Ditko was a creative that took full advantage of his personal privacy, it's time for the big leagues to recognize the cinematic merit in Steve's other creations.

Current junior Writing Arts major attending Rowan University. I am an avid writer, comic book reader, and film enthusiast.

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