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Post By
Happy Hogan 

Location: Northern Virginia
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,442
In Reply To

Member Since: Fri Nov 26, 2021
Subj: Re: Ditko, Objectivism, Marvel: A Time for Reassessment?
Posted: Sat Jun 11, 2022 at 12:10:35 am EDT (Viewed 95 times)
Reply Subj: Ditko, Objectivism, Marvel: A Time for Reassessment?
Posted: Tue Jun 07, 2022 at 07:56:58 am EDT (Viewed 136 times)

    This is a post that I can say has been years in the making:

    For as long as I've known about comics, Steve Ditko has been famous (in that's it's the first two things you hear about the guy) for two things. Creating Spider-Man, and being an Objectivist. Both of these things are true.

    Whenever I've come across commentary on Ditko's run on Spider-Man, you keep hitting many posts that bring up Objectivist influences on Spider-Man:
    -- Supposedly Ditko objected to Norman Osborn being Green Goblin because a Randian would never want a businessman to be a bad guy (which is now totally debunked).
    -- The protest scene in ASM#38 is a sign of Randian ideas manifesting (which led Al Ewing to have Spider-Man apologize for it in-page).
    -- Neil Gaiman said in Jonathan Ross' BBC Documentary that Ditko and Lee disagreed politically, Ditko was "impossibly uptight" while Stan was the liberal friend of fans.

    I am not a fan of Ayn Rand at all. In fact I think she's a damaging figure in many ways. But it's just that as someone who read Spider-Man comics at the time, I really didn't see any of this stuff reflected on page. So I researched Ditko for years. So I've written an article that looks at the "Randian Interpretation" of Ditko's time at Marvel as a whole. I go point by point, look at the evidence, and the latest up to date research, to hopefully complicate this stuff. Let me say, that I don't have any smoking gun one way or another, but I do think the existing assumptions about Rand and Ditko and how it affected Spider-Man (and for that matter Dr. Strange) needs to be reassessed.


I'm not of fan of Ayn Rand either, but selfishness vs altruism has often been an interesting discussion in comics. It seems to work best when it IS a discussion, and not when the "objectivist" creators think the readers should take their side.

Having read your article, I have one question:
I see the words "objectivist" and "randian" a lot, (both in your article and in the real world) and outside your article, they seem to be used interchangeably. Can you explain the difference between the words in your own head cannon.

As far as Stan Lee censoring a Kirby satire of Ayn Rand, I didn't read anything more into that than Lee not wanting to seem disrespectful. I'm curious if he read what Kirby said about it first. Is it possible that Lee didn't think Kirby was the right person to do the satire well?

With comics like The Dark Knight and Watchmen, not to mention some of Ditko's other work, Rand's influence on comics seems to be far-reaching.

Ironically we seem to have gotten an unintentional satire of Rand with Zack Snyder in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.