|Original art to Journey into Mystery # 88, Jan 1963, Kirby pencils;Ayers inks|
|Close-up of Thor panel by Kirby|
There have been numerous instances where Stan requested art corrections or alterations, so that was no big surprise. I put the page away and intended to compare it to the original, to see why it was altered and what Kirby redrew. I never got around to comparing the page, having completely forgotten about it, but the other day I found it mixed in with other papers and decided to check out the original comic. That's when I was in for a surprise.
When I took a close look at the panel I realized the alteration was not by Kirby, or production man Sol Brodsky, but Steve Ditko! The distinct inking on Thor's arms and the depiction of earth was a clear giveaway.
|Published panel by Steve Ditko. Note the linework on Thor's arms and the Earth|
After comparing the printed panel to the replacement, it was obvious that Stan wanted it to be clear that Thor was flying away from earth. The simple reason Stan didn't have Kirby make the change was probably because Ditko happened to be in the office when it was needed. This was not the first time that Ditko fixed a Kirby panel; he did the same in FF # 20, which was discovered, I believe, by Nigel Kitching, who has pointed out many corrections by Ditko and Kirby in this early period to me many years ago.
|Page 17, panel 3 of Fantastic Four # 20, Nov 1963|
It's also interesting to note that Ditko inked the cover, which he may have picked up when he made the correction.
|Journey into Mystery # 88, Kirby pencils; Ditko inks|