This weekend we mourn the loss of one of the comic book industries greats. Steve Ditko died at the age of 90. Working on both Marvel and DC throughout the years, Ditko partnered up to co-create some of histories greatest characters that almost everyone has heard of. Heroes like Spider-Man and Doctor Strange, villains like Green Goblin and Dormammu. He even gave us supporting characters that would go on to take some of the spotlights like Wong, Clea, Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane Watson. But are there others that don’t get as much limelight? Here’s a list of 7 great Ditko created characters that don’t get enough recognition.
Ted Kord, the second Blue Beetle, gets overlooked nowadays. Jaime Reyes, the third Blue Beetle, has the cool powers and the cool suit and is featured in cartoons. Kord isn’t completely forgotten, getting numerous name-dropped cameos in CW shows like Arrow and The Flash when they mention “Kord Industries”. Kord’s death made some waves a few years ago, but since he’s been largely forgotten. Or rather his death brings more drama than his resurrection would, Black Lantern Ted Kord notwithstanding. Kord’s genius-level intellect was his main weapon. Though he trained to be an Olympic-level athlete and martial artist, he created tech and weaponry that put him on par with other Justice Leaguers.
At the age of 14, Doreen Green offered to be Iron Man’s sidekick. He declined, but both were captured by Doctor Doom. Doom underestimated her and was defeated by Squirrel Girl. Moving on to join the Great Lakes Avengers, then working as a super-powered nanny to Luke Cage and Jessica Jones, Doreen seemed like a supporting character. But she’s gained in popularity, joining A-Force and New Avengers before striking out on her own as The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl.
Vic Sage was an action hero for Charlton Comics. Later, by becoming The Question, he learned to channel his anger and aggression. The character has seen some few inconsistencies from story arc to story arc but remained a character could unravel mysterious no matter whether his character came about the answers through mystical, mental, or medical means. He became a fan favorite on Justice League Unlimited, partnering up with Huntress and playing heavily on his conspiracy theory fanaticism. Most recently in the comic books, Vic Sage is the boss of Amanda Waller and meddles with Task Force X, but not as The Question.
In the original story, Hawk and Dove were a team of brothers who were polar opposite in a multitude of ways, Hank and Don Hall put aside their differences to team up and help their father, a Judge who had been kidnapped by a criminal bent on revenge. Mysterious voices told them to call on the powers of the Hawk and The Dove. The two remained a crime-fighting duo until Don’s death. Hank continued on, not realize the balance his brother brought to his life. Later, Hank would find another Dove, Dawn Granger. The two fought crime together. Their powers came from Lords of Order, while they fought against creations of The Lords of Chaos. Hawk and Dove, played by Alan Ritchson and Minka Kelly, looks to see a live-action version of the characters come to DC’s new Teen Titans.
Jack Ryder is a character with a ton of potential. In various reboots, he’s been a failed TV show host, radio host, private investigator, and journalist. He’s gotten his powers from mysterious serums, exposure to Joker gas, possessed by a Japanese Oni demon, and reverted back to his pre-Creeper characterization. Usually located in Gotham, The Creeper has been used in the background of many cartoons and games, cameos in Kingdom Come, and usually an ally of Batman’s.
Eve Eden discovers her mother was actually a princess from the Land of the Nightshades, forced to flee her home dimension to escape an evil incubus. Her mother showed Eve and her brother Larry how to cross realms with their powers. While in the Land of the Nightshades the three are attacked, Larry kidnapped and their mother fatally wounded. Eve promises her dying mother that she’ll one day return to the Land of the Nightshade and rescue her brother. Eve lies to her father about her family’s disappearance. As she grows, Eve studies martial arts and hones her powers, in some versions joining the CIA or CBI, eventually finding her way into the Suicide Squad. Eve, now working as Nightshade, joins other magical powered heroes to save all magic itself from being wiped off the Earth. Nightshade joins a group known as Shadowpact to fight against magical villains. Little more has been seen from the character since.
Probably the most important character on the list. Stan Lee and Steve Ditko created J. Jonah Jameson who first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #1. In numerous incarnations over the years, J.J.J. has been seen as ruthless, heartless, careless with others, holding an irrational vendetta against Spider-Man. But he’s also been shown to be tough on the outside with a warm, gooey center, a journalist at heart who seeks the truth while he struggles to keep his newspaper alive and making money. J. Jonah Jameson has been a staple in Spider-Man’s story for decades, a constant character in Marvel comics, cartoons, and the big screen, but rarely gets the attention he deserves as such a long-lasted and impactful character.
Who is your favorite Ditko character? Got one not listed here, or one that few realize they owe to Ditko? Leave a comment below or hit us up on Facebook!