Magazine Speculation Part 9: Mr. A
One magazine that I personally love buying copies of but rarely see offered for sale in the wild is Mr. A #1. Mr. A was created by Steve Ditko in 1967, Ditko described his DC creation, the Question as the comic code acceptable version of Mr. A.
The Comics Code formed in 1954 stated what could and couldn’t be published in the comic book medium mainly as an outcry to content from various horror comic books. Magazines didn’t have to conform to these rules.
Mr. A is an investigative reporter who see’s only right and wrong and he has no moral grey area. Most of the comics focused on philosophical elements with Mr. A being born out of Ditko’s interest in Ayn Rand and his fascination with objectivism.
Mr. A #1 was published in 1973, after he had already appeared in various fanzines including, Graphic Illusions, The Collector, and the Comic Crusader. Mr. A made his first appearance in the third issue of Witzend published in 1967. Witzend was a Wallace Wood underground comic anthology where creators had no editorial limitations.
Mr. A is important to popular culture and not just because he was created by the creator of Spider-Man. Alan Moore based his Watchmen character Rorschach on both the Question and Mr. A. Looking back on the Watchmen series it isn’t hard to see the influence of Ditko and Mr. A.
Ditko continued to produce Mr. A comic’s up until his death with the last appearance in Mr. A #18 published through Kickstarter in 2016.
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