Dell Comics were “good comics” — that had to be true: it said so right there on the first page. Charlton Comics, on the other hand, were not so much. Still, at least they were honest: “Buy Charlton Comics (We need the money!)”. Very much like the black sheep of the family, the unwanted, shady uncle at the Christmas party, Charlton hung around like a bad smell for nearly 40 years. In that time they produced, I dunno, maybe two or three really good comics.

Essentially, there are only two periods of Charlton worth talking about. The 1966-68 phase with Dick Giordano as editor where he introduced a halfway decent super-hero line, and the 1973-75 period when editor George Wildman brought in some young tykes (John Byrne, Joe Staton, etc) in an attempt to revive the fortunes of the eternally moribund company. Other than that they mainly produced undistinguished, often mediocre material. Sure, Steve Ditko did loads of work for them, but he was rarely at the top of his game — and with the industry low rates they paid, that’s not too surprising.

His Blue Beetle stuff — highlighted here — isn’t too shabby, mind…

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