“What Steve Ditko Character Are You?”

Hello, Bloggers!

I am currently working on a review of Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises”.

It’s proving to be..uhrr…challenging.

But along the way, in my painful research process, I discovered this post-in-the-making from three years ago, and though I no longer remember the key for it, I am nonetheless sure I can reconstruct the key if only I get a few answers.  It’s actually an interesting problem…because…

Well, what Steve Ditko character are you?

Don’t tell me you haven’t wondered!

So, reproduced from the archives, here it is in hi-fidelity:




1.  Are you unfailingly loyal?

2.  Are you a liar?

3.  Do you have superhuman powers?

4.  Do you show deference to your superiors?

5.  Are you in love?

6.  Did you ask for this?

7.  Do you hate anything or anyone?

8.  Do you know about the difference between Good and Evil?

9.  Other dimensions:  do you think about them?

10.  Women:  are they weak?

11.  Can you trust yourself?

12.  Do you cultivate humility?

13.  Do you have a rival?


To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure it’ll work.  Drunk-and-intuitive me of three years ago seemed to think it’d work…and sober me of one week later apparently approved it, if I can go by timestamps.  So there must be something there, mustn’t there?


I guess we’ll see…

But only if YOU, the Reader, accepts this New Amazing…!



60 responses to ““What Steve Ditko Character Are You?”

  1. I don’t have a special Plok-mail address anymore (any suggestions about non-Cthulhuan webmails would be appreciated!), so we’ll have to do this out in the open…

    My own answers at the moment will come in the next comment…

  2. (pasted in from a WP — WordPress, honestly, this is an ASTONISHINGLY shit comment interface…)

    1. Yes

    2. Yes

    3. No

    4. No

    5. No

    6. Yes

    7. No

    8. Yes

    9. Yes

    10. No

    11. Yes

    12. Yes

    13. No


    I was gonna put some things like “not usually” and “I try” in there, but then I remembered…if you’re going to call the Ditko tune, then you must pay the Ditko piper. Am I a liar?

    Sometimes, it is true, I tell the odd lie. And it isn’t always a white lie…no.

    Oh, but I wish it were.

  3. 1. Are you unfailingly loyal? No

    2. Are you a liar? Yes

    3. Do you have superhuman powers? No

    4. Do you show deference to your superiors? Yes

    5. Are you in love? Yes

    6. Did you ask for this? Yes

    7. Do you hate anything or anyone? Yes

    8. Do you know about the difference between Good and Evil? Yes

    9. Other dimensions: do you think about them? Yes

    10. Women: are they weak? No

    11. Can you trust yourself? No

    12. Do you cultivate humility? Yes

    13. Do you have a rival? Yes

  4. James, you are GWEN STACY, undoubtedly the smartest of all the girlfriends of Peter Parker!

    Calvin, you are LT. BARAK, the only truly steadfast friend of disgraced Metan security officer Rac Shade!

  5. All right, I’ll try it. This ought to be rich.
    1. Are you unfailingly loyal? Yes.
    2. Are you a liar? No.
    3. Do you have superhuman powers? Well, I do have a knack for getting precisely in people’s way when what I’m trying to do is get out of their way; does that count? If so, yes; if not, no.
    4. Do you show deference to your superiors? I suppose I do.
    5. Are you in love? Yes.
    6. Did you ask for this? Yes.
    7. Do you hate anything or anyone? No.
    8. Do you know about the difference between Good and Evil? Yes.
    9. Other dimensions: do you think about them? Not in real life.
    10. Women: are they weak? No.
    11. Can you trust yourself? Yes.
    12. Do you cultivate humility? No.
    13. Do you have a rival? No.

  6. Matthew, you are FLASH THOMPSON, not really a bad guy, just a bit insecure! You don’t hate Peter Parker, you just secretly wish you could be more like him…you would make an extremely good and moral superhero who would nevertheless be killed by Doctor Octopus in your first encounter with him! Settle down with a girl who loves you instead. And don’t dawdle about it. Seriously, Flash: get to it.

  7. 1. Are you unfailingly loyal? Yes
    2. Are you a liar? No
    3. Do you have superhuman powers? No
    4. Do you show deference to your superiors? No
    5. Are you in love? Yes
    6. Did you ask for this? No
    7. Do you hate anything or anyone? Yes
    8. Do you know about the difference between Good and Evil? Yes
    9. Other dimensions: do you think about them? Yes
    10. Women: are they weak? No
    11. Can you trust yourself? Yes
    12. Do you cultivate humility? No
    13. Do you have a rival? No

  8. Clone, you are CLEA, unselfish saviour of the mysterious stranger from the Earth-Dimension! How could you fail to respond to such bravery in kind, even if it means eternal punishment at the hands of the dread Dormammu? Though your paths will doubtless never cross again, even in your confinement you will never forget his splendid example…

    Or, to put it another way, you are Tenar from The Tombs Of Atuan.

  9. You were close to being Betty Brant. But you don’t cultivate humility, nor do you show deference to your superiors.

    Look, man…

    We all want to be Betty Brant, all right? I think there’s no guy in this room who secretly doesn’t want to be Betty Brant! But we’ve all also got to be realistic, if we want to be happy in our lives. The first-jilted of Peter Parker, almost an afterthought to Spider-Man stories, someone just “gotten out of the way” to make room for the HATED Gwen Stacy, she thinks she’s so fucking smart? Well she’s sure as hell BLONDE, am I right fellas?

  10. Real talk, though, if this system thinks I’m Flash Thompson then it’s seriously flawed. I’m so not Flash Thompson.

    • I was gonna say, “nice talk, about a MAN who’s been in combat, from a BOY who’s never there when I need him!!”, but I thought a) Matthew isn’t a Marvel guy so wouldn’t get that reference, and b) I should really leave that to James, since he’s GWEN STACY

  11. But yes, you’re right, Matthew. You’re not the real Ditko Flash, you’re maybe the John Romita Flash…a much more complicated animal…


    You are…JOHN JAMESON!! Astronaut! Dutiful son! Upstanding member of the community, a real hero, not like that showboating Spider-Man! Why that Spider-Man should be locked up! He’s a menace!


    Pardon me. A father’s pride, you know.

    You would’ve been a perfect Curt Connors, too, except for just one telling answer.

    (I am trying to reassemble the key as I go)

  12. No, I like Flash, actually, but I can’t help but think that he and I are night and day. Not sure what I think about Ned Leeds or John Jameson, but I am wondering what’s standing between me and the Lizard. Is it the other-dimensions thing? I can move on the dimensions thing.

    Which Ditko characters are available, anyway? Hawk and Dove? The Odd Man? Mr. A? Lamprey, Nightwind, and Crystal Kid? Ted Kord?

  13. Oh, I know what the difference is between me and Curt Connors. “Can you trust yourself?” Obviously he can’t trust himself.

  14. Hey, I can cultivate humility and show respect to my superiors. Obviously only for short periods and at a terrible cost to my digestion, but if it means getting to be Betty…

  15. Well, I haven’t read any Shade (my experience with the character begins and ends with his stint on Suicide Squad), but “steadfast friend” sounds about right.

    Now, plok, who are you? You showed us your answers, but only you have the key.

  16. Ditko’s Shade is a pinballing psychedelic masterpiece, Thrill-Power in concentrated form…it’s Ditko doing Dr. Strange for DC, basically! I wasn’t especially taken with the Milligan Shade, just because I thought it was a step down from the trippiness of Ditko’s original…

    And also I still want to know what lies beyond the Meta-Zone!

    I don’t know if my answers hold up, though I guess they kind of do…as I was saying upthread, though, I really want to tweak ’em until I get to be a headliner! If not Shade, then maybe Dr. Strange or Spider-Man?

    Though now I’m thinking, wouldn’t it be hilarious to piss off Clone by making myself Betty Brant…

  17. This is a disaster.

    If only a couple of my answers had been different, I could’ve been Betty Brant!

    Instead of a bum, which is what I am.

  18. I have hesitated to respond — what if I felt the cold, clinical disapproval of Ditko in the result? But then I figured he’d probably say opting out doesn’t really absolve you of anything, so let’s go. I will be Ditkovian in my answers, as you recommend; I don’t think of myself as “a liar,” but Sturdy Steve is not really interested in what I think of myself, is he?

    1. Are you unfailingly loyal? NO
    2. Are you a liar? YES
    3. Do you have superhuman powers? NO
    4. Do you show deference to your superiors? YES
    5. Are you in love? YES
    6. Did you ask for this? NO
    7. Do you hate anything or anyone? YES
    8. Do you know about the difference between Good and Evil? NO*
    9. Other dimensions: do you think about them? YES
    10. Women: are they weak? NO
    11. Can you trust yourself? NO
    12. Do you cultivate humility? YES
    13. Do you have a rival? NO

    * — This is an interestingly phrased question — was it intentional or a direct reference to something out of “Mr. A” or the like? Because it’s not “Do you know the difference between Good and Evil?” (in other words, “Can you distinguish good acts from evil acts?”) but rather “Do you know ABOUT the difference…?” That “about” to me implies a certain terrifying philosophical rigor I don’t think I can truthfully claim to possess.

    Actually, the act of CULTIVATING humility rather than simply “being humble” is interesting too…as well as what is meant by “my superiors.” This isn’t…this isn’t a trap, is it? *nudges rope snare cautiously with foot*

  19. It doesn’t always make a difference, but every once in a while it makes for interesting hair-splitting. Take Clea, for example: does she “cultivate humility”? She doesn’t have to; even that she’s still alive in the Dark Dimension probably means that she never has had to. Likewise, Dormammu is her superior in that he is over her — his overwhelming Might puts him in an immediately and unambiguously dominant position. Yet, she isn’t deferent to him, deliberately bringing his punishment upon herself, and she can even bear it if she has to even though she is not supposed to be able to do this. And when she finally escapes, she becomes a different sort of character as she’s out from under a totalitarian regime — she remains a serious person, but she’s not serious all the time, and Dr. Strange may be her superior in certain ways but in many more ways he isn’t.

    Deference to one’s superiors, does one show it…yeah, that’s an interesting thing to know, because there are times when deference is what creates the “superiority”, but you don’t have to feel it, you only have to show it…and showing it can be a power play of one’s own. Peter Parker shows deference to his superiors, but his superiors aren’t just “those who can kick his ass”…he does acknowledge that he has superiors, but the categories of superiority are always shifting on him as he grows up: Curt Connors was once his superior, and so was Norman Osborn, and Miles Warren as well. So too, perhaps, were John Jameson and Otto Octavius: just in terms of advancement in career, and social prestige, and even just plain age. He’s a fairly deferent boy, still, but how much deference does he show to his employer? Only what he must, and even then he gets it back when he puts on the mask.

    But still other characters either acknowledge no superior because of ego, or acknowledge no superior because organizational roles aren’t moral ones and so the question simply never arises. As well, any sort of political manoeuvring doesn’t render “superiority”, just a tally of whose gambit was successful and whose wasn’t, who secured power (even if it’s only temporary power, and in a very prescribed context) and who failed to secure it…for the Buddha of Objectivism, money isn’t the measure of these things, and brute force may win any contest but it can never win legitimacy. Might doesn’t make Right, but more importantly Might doesn’t make RIGHTS. People always forget that part…

    As to “do you know about the difference between Good and Evil”, yes…it’s important, I think, to make that distinction, even to the point of making good and evil capital-G and capital-E. I think many people have heard of the difference, but hearing about something and knowing about it are two different things, right? Also it seems to me that many people just don’t believe that there IS a difference between these two, that’s they’re fully artificial categories anyway, so in the end there’s nothing to know so no one can ever really “know” it. And possibly for these people, the manoeuvring for superiority in political and organization contexts is really all there is? So it’s a bit more like “Brother, have you heard the Word, about the difference between Good and Evil?” You can know about it and dismiss it as irrelevant too, of course, but knowing about it is still different than “having heard some people talking about it”. What’s “Good”, after all? God, or something? That’s a very convenient shorthand, but it doesn’t exactly employ any kind of, er, “forensic philosophy”…yet if the shorthand’s all you’ve got, and you throw it away because it’s just a story, you’re not necessarily going to end up in the position of a philosopher by default! Though it isn’t hard to find people who think you will end up that way…

    So maybe what happens is that not everyone does, or even will, know about the difference between Good and Evil…and I guess if you can get away without knowing about it that might even be a good thing, that might mean you end up with a fine-and-dandy life. What would Clea have known about it, if Dormammu hadn’t existed? Children don’t know about it, and we try to keep them from having to know about it for about as long as we can…and we’ll even tell them that a lot of the things that are said about it are just bullshit, too, because, well…they kind of are! For privileged people in the Fortunate Lands, perhaps we have to be damn unlucky to ever have to know about that difference…to have no choice but to know about it…but of course the distinction must obtain here too. Maybe it’s just a bit harder to see, if you don’t really want to see it! Down in the States where you are, Justin, this was all neatly formalized a long time ago: part of American democratic freedom is the freedom from the Athenian mode of compulsory participation in it. Other countries have this too — Canada has it still, while Australia (incredibly!) doesn’t — but no one does it quite like the good ol’ U.S. of A., where your freedom not to vote and not to care is fundamental to rip-roarin’ capitalism of the old middle-stage sort, that has put the shirts on all our backs and the chickens in all our pots…

    Uh, except when it hasn’t, naturally…

    So you’re the first person to answer “No” to that, just as Matthew was the first person to answer “Yes” to “do you have superhuman powers”…though you both qualified it, but that’s okay too. Maybe I shouldn’t have used the hard definitional “superhuman” word in there, hmm…

    So give me another couple of coffees, and I’ll see if I can’t tell you who you are!

    It is a bit of a trap, in that any silly personality test worth its salt ought still to reveal something about the person taking it…even if the answer comes out a bit wrong, anyway the questions should come out right…

    And actually this is not a bad one; in fact it’s much better than it has any right to be! I blame Ditko, and also the fact that I was kind of looped when I wrote it and sometimes that makes odd tangled affordances in this sort of thing…

  20. Oh no, I’m going to be Just a Guy Named Joe, aren’t I?

    But yeah, that is, to one degree or another, what I was mulling over when I answered No. I mean, obviously one likes to THINK one knows about the difference, right? I’ve thought about it; I don’t mean to hide from the responsibility. And yet: to actually pull the trigger and say “I know” is…well, it’s pretty heavy, isn’t it? I say this fully aware that it’s a wishy-washy kind of sentiment — “Oh man, I haven’t got it all figured out, but NO ONE HAS, MAAAAAN.” But it comes down to me imagining Ditko himself posing this question:

    DITKO: Do you know about the difference between Good and Evil?
    ME: Well, yeah, of course, right?
    DITKO: No, I mean, really KNOW the DIFFERENCE?
    ME: I…yeah, you know. I mean, I’ve thought–
    DITKO: …
    ME: Okay, FINE, but…

    And the thing about America. Heh, this is a horrifying realization I had the first time I was eligible to vote: Even if you DO vote, you DON’T have to care, you know? If you show up with the sole intent of voting for one thing, there’s always other stuff on that ballot, and the funny part of it is the stuff that most people don’t care about is the stuff that might affect them most directly. Someone can show up and vote for president and then go, “Oh hell, we’re also voting for state representatives now? I don’t know who any of these people are!” But so many people will just vote ANYWAY. “Well, I didn’t want to leave it BLANK, right?” How many smaller-scale elections are decided like this?

  21. I’m going to stretch a point with the “superhuman powers” thing…actually I think this is kind of supportable in this case? But it’s quite unfortunate, really, that just a couple of Matthew’s answers didn’t line up, because then he would’ve gotten this one and been a bit happier with his outcome I bet!

    But all that doesn’t mean you won’t be happy with it, so I should stop second-guessing myself. I suppose there might be one or two other minor stretches in there as well, but what can I say, the spirit is moving me, so it’s a case of…

    Justin, you are SPEEDBALL!! Energetic! Well-meaning! Optimistic! And saddled with the dumbest “power” ever! Built on a cool visual idea that unexpectedly got a little bit hard to look at after a while, from an oddly retro style-background, fighting pedestrian villains with unintentionally-absurdist names, you were always destined for great things! But Nova got to be Marvel’s Green Lantern for some reason, meanwhile you got stuck with a weird bondage suit and a “nobody understands me” haircut. But oh well! I’m sure you’ll bounce back from this…

  22. Late to the game as always, but:

    1. Are you unfailingly loyal?


    2. Are you a liar?


    3. Do you have superhuman powers?


    4. Do you show deference to your superiors?

    Haha, NO

    5. Are you in love?


    6. Did you ask for this?


    7. Do you hate anything or anyone?


    8. Do you know about the difference between Good and Evil?


    9. Other dimensions: do you think about them?


    10. Women: are they weak?


    11. Can you trust yourself?


    12. Do you cultivate humility?


    13. Do you have a rival?


  23. Ha, it’s just a bit of a stretch, perhaps, but we’ve got another headliner because…

    Illogical Volume, you are…THE DOVE!! And everyone thinks that Hawk is the tough and capable one, but that’s really you, isn’t it? Principled! Brave! And a bit wet, I guess…but hey, nobody else is lining up to do this job, you know? And it’s sure not gonna do itself

  24. 1. Are you unfailingly loyal?
    > Yes
    2. Are you a liar?
    > No
    3. Do you have superhuman powers?
    > Yes
    4. Do you show deference to your superiors?
    > No
    5. Are you in love?
    > No
    6. Did you ask for this?
    > No
    7. Do you hate anything or anyone?
    > No
    8. Do you know about the difference between Good and Evil?
    > Yes
    9. Other dimensions: do you think about them?
    > Yes
    10. Women: are they weak?
    > No
    11. Can you trust yourself?
    > No
    12. Do you cultivate humility?
    > Yes
    13. Do you have a rival?
    > Yes

  25. Friend James’ comment is for some reason not getting through, so I’m posting it straight from the notifying email:

    1. No

    2. Yes

    3. No

    4. Yes

    5. No

    6. No

    7. Yes

    8. Yes

    9. Yes

    10. No

    11. No

    12. No

    13. No

    And, James: thanks! The new blog-thing is making me happy as well!

    • It’s there at the top, because I couldn’t figure out how to make a comment that wasn’t replying to an earlier comment. (“Scroll to the bottom” you say? I SWEAR there wasn’t a reply box there…)

  26. Now, Stephen and James, if you’ll just give me a few hours of sleep I’m sure at least one of you will turn out to be The Creeper

    Ho ho.

  27. Stephen Williamson, you are…a thing I’m really envious of…

    THE ANCIENT ONE!! A perfect person? No, my pupil. Do not be deceived by the equanimity that comes with great age…do not even dare to believe that eventual “wisdom” is an excuse for previous fallibility! Shall I sing you the song of Kamar-Taj, the song that I alone remember, even though it came After Ditko? Mine was not an origin story, but a long and terrible trail of mistakes, only culminating in a desire to DO BETTER and CONTRIBUTE IN SOME WAY. The young grapple with ego, but only age can make an ego monstrous…and only a monstrous ego, once it is slain, can offer up the milk of enlightenment! And I didn’t do that myself, dude…

    But maybe if I can help you to do it, I can say “I made a difference in this world”.


    Stephen Williamson, that is what they call a Cold Reading! Cold readings have about a three-percent success rate or less: they’re based on pure guesswork, with no further feedback from the subject. Now, if I’ve gotten really lucky then you’re a young stepdad…?

    But it would work 80% as well if you were a young regular dad.

    And 80% less well if you weren’t a Dad at all.

    But even if you’re not one, I think I could make this work, a little bit? THE ANCIENT ONE, that’s what your answers say…

    A man with a history!


    I got nothing.


  28. James Wheeler, you have achieved something that I previously thought was impossible! Something I designed this test to frustrate! Something that I think shouldn’t be!


    Oh God, you’re coming for me, aren’t you.

    James, you are…MR. A…!!

    No one can be be unfailingly loyal. No one should ever be untruthful, but all men lie. Everyone should show deference to their superiors if they are one’s superiors. This is just logic. This is easy. Why doesn’t everyone know this? NO MAN WHO’S WORTH BEING CALLED A MAN CAN TRUST HIMSELF! If free will means anything, if Good and Evil mean anything, then there is no “trust”…only responsibility for actions, that are quite apparently seen in the public square. Women aren’t weak, they choose just as men do. Cultivating humility is a dishonesty without a social good; it injures those around you as much as it injures youself. And rivalry is an egotistical illusion. No man is any man’s rival. That would be a digusting perversion of morality, if there were any such thing as morality. Facts are facts. A is A…

    Let me put it this way: a friend of mine said once that existentialist morality is the only morality there is, because one really has no compulsion to be moral. God isn’t just dead, but he never existed in the first place, and “society” is cruel and oppressive, and its rewards and punishments are capricious at best. So, why not be a criminal?

    But that’s only the “Rorschach” answer. The answer of the upending of feeling and meaning. What about the Dr. Manhattan answer, the answer that acknowledges not just facts, but also the beauty that lies slumbering within facts? Mr. A isn’t a bad or unfeeling person, he’s just honestly making up his own code, and it is not an anti-human code, it’s only an anti-social code. Or, maybe…

    …A deeply social code?

    A social code reinvented at every instant, according to how sociality fits with morality. You actually can’t call that wrong, can you?

    All actions are taken by individuals.

    Gosh, I don’t know why I’m so wordy tonight.

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