Stalker #2 (1975)

Beware the man with the stolen soul! You could use that phrase for many stalkers, but it’s also the tagline for this very cool ’70s barbarian strip. I guess 30 years ago the term "stalker" didn’t have the weird sort of nasty-guy-after-a-relationship-ends connotations it has now, because nobody could call a comic that today.
 
Actually this is a wonderful sword & sorcery book, with wonderful art by the combination of Waly Wood and Steve Ditko. Wood and Ditko were an interesting pair the few times their paired up in comics. The combination of Ditko’s storytelling with Woody’s lush inks produced a unique combination that seemed grand and exciting and even a bit beautiful. There really is a sense of two masters at work here, and many sequences are just wonderful. There’s a very nice three-panel sequence in page three where the team plays with movement in panels, and a wonderfully spooky silent scene where Stalker sneaks into a demon-worshipping temple in order to save a beautiful girl. Of course the girl is gorgeous, but the drama of the scene is equally so.
 
The story is nice enough, by then fan-turned pro Paul Levitz (who’s now a bigwig at DC), but the lush art is the star here. I love the spooky supernatural cosmic scene on page 12 a whole lot. It’s a combination of Ditko’s weird worlds and Wood’s great outer-space scenes.
 
This comic only lasted four issues, but the whole team worked on all four issues. All are a real treat.
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