Review: The Steve Ditko Omnibus, Vol. 2: Starring the Hawk and the Dove

The Steve Ditko Omnibus, Vol. 2: Starring the Hawk and the Dove
The Steve Ditko Omnibus, Vol. 2: Starring the Hawk and the Dove by Steve Ditko
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another in DC Comics’ many series of artist-specific hardcover reprints, the Steve Ditko Omnibus Vol. 2 covers a lot of near random stories between the sixties and the nineties done by the legendary creator of Spider-Man and Dr. Strange.

Included are all three of the Hawk and Dove stories that Ditko created, his fondly remembered Starman series from Adventure Comics with Paul Levitz, his work on Man-Bat and the Demon that featured the mystic villain Baron Tyme, several issues of Legion of Super-Heroes, and a couple of short features with Black Lightning and the Spectre.

Of everything in this one, the Starman stories are the best part of the book and most deserving of a proper hardcover reprinting. As with many reviewers, I think it’s a shame that the final part of the story, in DC Comics Presents #36, wasn’t included (it featured artwork by Jim Starlin). A similar problem is with the Demon stories, as the first chapter of that story arc was in Detective Comics and had Michael Golden handling the art chores, hence it isn’t in this book.The story from Man-Bat #1 does feature the only time Ditko drew Batman in a regular story for DC, so that’s a plus.

I enjoy these collections, but I think they’re better when they are character or story-arc specific, rather than artist. Especially with someone like Steve Ditko, who’s later years with DC (and Marvel) was primarily as a fill-in artist, the Starman series being a rare exception. This wasn’t a bad book by any stretch of the imagination, though, as it shows Steve Ditko in great form with a variety of great artists inking his work. If you like Starman, Ditko, or DC Comics, you’ll more than likely enjoy this Omnibus.

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