CBR’s regular feature ‘Comics Book Urban Legends Revealed’ was last week found to contain a story on Steve Ditko and his use of original art as cutting boards – if you missed it click here.
This week we will explore yet another of their other related posts that includes Steve Ditko (of six in total). This concerns the censorship of a Steve Ditko strip from 1961 that resulted in it being altered before going to print.
It was deemed to be true, here is the article:
Since the 1980s, the Comics Code Authority has not had much effect upon comics being published. However, when it first was introduced, it was enforced quite harshly, and even creators such as Steve Ditko felt the brunt, according to master Ditko historian, Blake Bell.
Bell relays the following interesting tale of Stan Lee censoring Ditko in an early 60s issue of Strange Tales…[#83]
The story consists of a vengeful socialite, who has supposedly met the man of her dreams at a party. Everyone is to take off their masks at midnight, but trouble lurks below…..
….once more Ditko’s original ending is CENSORED. “What mask?” says the Devil, but clearly this would have corrupted too many young minds. Whomever reviewed this story at Marvel in 1961 (Stan Lee himself?) must have believed it to violate the Code’s authority when it came to presenting the Devil. The last two inset panels are clearly not by Ditko’s hand, and were clearly placed in afterwards to water down the story for the kiddies. POOF! He ain’t the Devil anymore, and mankind survives to live another day!