Monday, May 11, 2015

DITKO'S ULTIMATE EXPRESSION -- THE MYSTERIOUS MR. A !!!


Steve Ditko gave us his ideas the ultimate expression in the form of -- Mr. A!


With characters like Mr. A. (Rex Graine) & Killjoy, Ditko freely expressed his personal ideology, based on Ayn Rand's Objectivism and the writings of Greek philosopher Aristotle.


Rex Graine is a newspaper reporter for the Daily Crusader, known for his uncompromising principles and incorruptibility. When fighting crime, Graine wears metal gloves and a steel mask  resembling a placid face, thus becoming Mr. A. In keeping with the hardboiled detective theme, both personae typically wear suits and fedora hats. Mr. A uses half white-half black calling cards to signify his arrival, as well as to represent his belief that there can only be good and evil, and no moral grey area.

Mr. A's credo is: "A is A. A thing is what it is. No man can have it both ways. Only through black and white principles can man distinguish between good and evil. The principles guide man's basic choice of actions. Men can attempt to choose contradictions. Grey principles, like men can choose to be dishonest, corrupt, but that choice only leads to evil - to self-destruction!"
 


Witzend #3
"Fools Will tell you there can be no honest person!"
The first line of dialogue.




Witzend #4
"Justice demands that man's principles be fixed in terms of good and evil, black and white"
The first line of dialogue.
In The Ditko Collection this story is titled Mr. A  "Money" 
 

Avenging World
"Violence the Phoney Issue"
Text article includes two pages of illustrations, including one of Mr. A.

Mr. A. #1
"Right to Kill"
All Ditko with his viewpoint on right or wrong with no shades of gray.
"When is a Man to be Judged Evil?"
"What Happens to a Man When he Refuses to Uphold the Good?"
Reprinted in The Ditko Collection Vol. 1 as Mr. A "The Community U.N."
"A Stolen Car, a Hit and Run, add up to...a Victim...and the Guilty"
Eight single page chapters in one story. Reprinted in The Ditko Collection Vol. 1 as Mr. A "Chapterplay"
Includes an editorial & illustration of Mr. A. 



Mr. A #2
"Count Rogue"
Mr. A versus Count Rogue (Al Wert.)
"Good, Evil, Compromise, Corruption"
Both stories reprinted in The Ditko Collection Vol. 2.

My first exposure to Mr. A, a big whopping 116 pages of pure Ditko genius!

The Ditko Collection Vol. 1
"Mr. A: Angel"
The first line of dialogue: "Fools will tell you that there can be no honest person!"
"Mr. A.: Money"
The first line of dialogue: "Justice demands that man's principles be fixed in terms of good and evil, black and white!"
"Mr. A.: The Polluters"
Short text piece with a small illustration. 
Various Mr. A. illustrations.
"Mr. A.: The Community U.N."
"Mr. A.: The Defenders"
"Mr. A.: Violence: The Phoney Issue"
A three-page text piece accompanied by two full-page illustrations and one comic story page.
"Mr. A.: Middle of the Road?"
The first line of dialogue: "That fool thinks that there is a middle of the road between good and evil, that he can have the advantages of both sides to be held as good and to profit through evil!"
"Mr. A.: Chapterplay"
Story divided into eight single-page chapters.
"Mr. A.: When is a Man to be Judged Evil?"
"Mr. A.: Right to Kill"

Another big whopping volume of 128 pages!

The Ditko Collection Vol. 2
Reprints Mr. A #2. 


Oh, No! Not Again, Ditko!
"A Pole to Rate Performance"
"Continuing Mr. A..."
Also includes stories of Ditko's The Hero.


...Ditko Continued...
"The Outline"
"I'm important, yet..."
"What a "profit" and another sucker to take the blame!"
Also includes stories of Ditko's The Hero, The Cape & Grey Negotiator.


Ditko has been quoted as saying another creation, The Question, is a comics-code acceptable version of Mr. A.

Unpublished Mr. A #3, image that!

But what makes Mr. A. fascinating, and bizarre, is that his creator doesn’t see him as an antihero. Far from it! To Steve Ditko, this guy is the absolute shining icon of goodness! 



Live Large My Friends!

Thank You!




1 comment:

  1. Mr. A! One of the greats! Also frequently derided by those who feel threatened by moral and ethical certainty and who prefer to pretend it's okay to compromise with known evil as long as it's expedient.

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