Pacific Comics published Steve Ditko's The Mocker, first showing up in Silver Star #2. Originally a weekly comic strip, it was cancelled and Ditko decided to finish the story on his own. He uses a large cast of characters in the Mocker and many of them are complex. All the characters contribute to the noir storyline. Ditko sneaks in his philosophy, but it is subtle and never overbearing.
Tyler Rayne was an assistant District Attorney with an uncompromising sense of justice. An investigation into a corrupt Senator Durn (who happened to be his girlfriend Ella's father) turned sour after his first witness was killed and his other witness recanted out of fear. Rayne ended up framed for corruption and sent to prison. While in prison he was taken under the wing of noted mob boss Ziger, who upon Rayne's release offered him a deal: find out information to help his operation and he would use his contacts to prove Rayne was innocent all along.
Rayne, as the Mocker, uses his mysterious powers to slinks in and out of the seedy mob underworld. Unknown to anyone else, he has the power to dim lights around him and once in the shadows he is nearly invisible even when right in front of them, "mocking their eyes". When making physical contact with someone, the Mocker can spread his "darkness" over them, an unpleasant sensation usually prompting a screaming confession by the time it reaches the victim's eyes.
The story of the Mocker and its subplots deal with various contemplations on corruption, redemption and self-worth, showing the influence of Ditko's fascination with the philosophy of writer Ayn Rand.
"With These Hands"
This story was originally produced for editor Richard Howell's NBM line, intended for the black and white magazine Adventure Illustrated #1 which was advertised but never published. While researching this, I looked at my copy of Adventure Illustrated, but even though the Mocker is not in the line up, the stellar line up of artists include Pat Boyette, Jim Starlin (terrific painted cover), Tom Sutton, Mike Sekowsky & Bill Sienkiewicz & writers include Doug Moench, Mark Evanier & John Warner. Perhaps this was scheduled for the second or third issue, which were never published.
"With These Hands"
"The Mocker Meets the Snake"
"The Mocker Meets the Intruders"
"The Mocker and the Preyer"
"The Mocker and the Upsetters"
Includes various illustrations of The Mocker, Static, Missing Man, Charlton House Ad & Split-Man.
First printing cover is black and white, with no color.
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