Short video about Steve Ditko's objectivist superhero, Mr. A

Originally published at:


Surprisingly similar to Judge Dredd in their dogmatic relationship with their ruleset.

The only difference being Dredd is allegory, almost parody, whereas Mr A is deadly, deadly serious.

Funny that Ditko created The Question, which becomes Rorshach by way of Alan Moore. Right back around to allegory.



I will have to listen a bit later.

For more Steve Ditko and Mr. A, I recommend these two videos.


at one time in the mid-80s i was dungeon-mastering a game of ad&d-2nd edition. one of the players was playing a chaotic good ranger inspired by mr. a . . . it was a tedious character.


Chaotic? Doesn’t seem to fit, although I don’t know Mr A that well admittedly,


chaotic good played dogmatically means the individual’s view of good and evil is held to be above all considerations of law and customs. actually a pretty good fit with mr. a. as portrayed in the comics.


There’s just some guy with too much free time who is driven by the need to force others to conform to his beliefs concerning proper moral behavior.

Sounds like every Libertarian and Objectivist arsehole who’s ever tr0lled an Internet forum.

I can also see a throughline, with Mr. A’s bloviating speeches in place of plot traced backward to Rand’s potboilers and forward to Dave Sim’s misogynistic rants.


Ah, good old “A.” Rereading his philosophy in that caption, with its demand for unflinching honesty, makes me wonder again how many self-righteous objectivists in politics and industry have no problem with being “not fit to gain anything except through evil means, by dishonesty, injustice, irrationality.”


think about the speech john galt delivers over the radio. it’s twice the length of the communist manifesto and equal in length to fahrenheit 451 and not nearly as readable as either. so, no real surprise there.


Oh Jesus. Thank dog I never made it that far. I was unaware of Rand’s overarching belief at the time, so I read it as a straight novel without a particular agenda. As the characters progressed I found them more and more insufferable, narcissistic and utterly boring. I can’t imagine trying to wade through a Dostoyevsky-length speech by any of them.


Mr A is Mr A.


i created a performance piece called “there’s an objectivist rocking the boat” in the mid 80s. i recorded the entire speech and then played it back at double speed while recording the playback and at set intervals based on the prime numbers i shouted “there’s an objectivist rocking the boat” the number of times equal to the prime number value i was at. then i took that tape and played that back at double speed shouting the same slogan at the same time intervals. i ended up with a one hour tape.

i’ve got it around somehere.

i consider atlas shrugged to be one of the most evil novels in the english language.


I always liked The Question better because the gradual changes in his philosophy under other artists allowed for some character development. Which, ironically, made him a poorer objectivist than Mr. A (whose name may be a reference to Aristotelian identity, but also stands for Asshole as far as I’m concerned).


I agree.

Though with Rorchach I think he fits into the DC role of superheroes being more literary devices than real human beings.

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I believe Mr. A’s name is from the Randian principle" “A is A”, meaning it is what it is.


I’m afraid Ayn Rand ripped it off…


I am continually amazed and humbled at the profound nerdery present here on BBS. This may be the most intersectional nerdery yet.


Did you get to the infamous train tunnel scene? If anything exposes Rand as a sociopath, it’s that wish-fulfillment fantasy (which Mr. A would no doubt approve of, too).


Steve Ditko (1927-2018) is best known for being the co-creator and artist of the Marvel Comics superheroes Spider-Man and Doctor Strange.

I think that’s an accurate statement, but he should be known as the writer, too. He plotted and drew the stories; Stan Lee just filled in the dialogue after he was done.

I think it’s a real testament to Moore’s compassion that Rorschach ends up being such a sympathetic character.

Most every character in Watchmen has some Ditko in them, but Rorschach is the one who represents his morality. And while Moore spends a lot of time displaying how horrifying that morality is, in the end there’s something noble about Rorschach being the only one willing to die for what he believes in.

There wasn’t a hell of a lot of overlap between Ditko’s morality and Moore’s (aside from creators’ rights and a general disdain for the mainstream comics industry), but Moore respected Ditko and saw the humanity in him. And I think that, ultimately, is why Rorschach is the most memorable character in Watchmen.