So why did Steve Ditko quit Marvel?
This is a question that is caused fans to ponder over many years. The truth is self evident if you know where to look. Find Issue 38 of the Amazing Spider-Man, and turn to the last few pages. There we see Peter Parker walking past some students with signs: “What are they protesting? They are protesting a protesting meeting….” This paints Spider-Man’s real life alter ego as a conservative, an observation reinforced by a student calling him a “reactionary” on a subsequent panel.
Stan Lee was out and out liberal. Steve Ditko had gotten into Objectivism via Ayn Rand’s works and took a different view that people had to be self sufficient and not rely on the Government, the State, or even others for assistance.
Then re-read many of the stories prior to that issue, see how a common theme is spread of self doubt followed by the realization the only person who could fix it was, well, Spider-Man.
I think there may have been artistic differences, but that reason is usually given to avoid the real reason which, arguably, would be less er savory, shall we say?
Having just read issues #1-#38, in the past few weeks, I can say I am very familiar with the stories and the way Peter’s character develops. For instance, I was frustrated by the way Betty Brant could only resolve the conflict by running away, and Peter Parker dominated by the Spider-Man alter ego, which prevented him from pursuing his first love.
About this time Mary Jane Watson is scheduled to make her first appearance.
I like Steve’s work on Amazing Spider-Man, some of the stories felt weak, or seemed to be re-use of plots, but, comics to an extent are a mirror of our society. They cannot ignore Reality.
I suspect had Steve Ditko remained, we would have seen Spider-Man being pro Vietnam War and possibly even being manuevered into a “Captain America” situation. Although Parker was primarily a scientist and teacher not a soldier in outlook. He hated taking orders that’s for sure.
The important thing to remember about the first 40 issues (including the two Spider-Man annuals)is that this was a comic boldly going where no man had gone before and after four years, Peter Parker was still unable to sort out his social life because of it.