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Secret Origins of Dr. Strange - Part 12 of 12
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Steve's Ditko's masterful run on Dr. Strange climaxed with the earth-shattering appearance of ETERNITY, a cosmic character who came off like a mixture of God and Galactus. It all started when Dr. Strange came across an ancient scroll...
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Desperate to find ETERNITY, Doc uses his mystic amulet to open up a magical portal to another dimension! But will he dare to enter it?
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YES! HE WILL DARE!
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Suddenly Doc finds himself thrust into a wild, mystical, other-worldly realm that only Steve Ditko could depict! A panel for the ages...
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Reader, gasp in awe as Doc gazes comes face to face with... ETERNITY!
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I am Robby Reed, creator of this web site and author of this article, will now present my theory concerning ETERNITY. Please note that my theory is pure conjecture! My theory is this: Although ETERNITY is plainly a god-like figure, I believe he represents a real person!

As my readers know, I believe that when a "fictional" character or scene has tremendous resonance and power, it is usually because that character or scene is based on real life. It almost HAS to be! Because if it has nothing to do with real life, then it would be irrelevant to real life, and could not have any real power or resonance in real life.

So who could ETERNITY be? Well, the character was created, visually and plot-wise, by Steve Ditko -- ALONE. No one else. Stan Lee had nothing to do with the character until he saw Ditko's pencils and wrote the character's dialogue.

The character is portrayed as a cosmic, all-knowing being from whom Doc seeks knowledge -- but ultimately, ETERNITY does not fulfill Doc's wishes, at least not directly. Instead, ETERNITY tells Doc he already HAS what he needs. This story functions as a climax to Ditko's entire run on Dr. Strange.

As detailed in our Secret Origins of Spider-Man series, Ditko's work is surprisingly auto-biographical. But Steve Ditko was unhappy at Marvel at this time, and would soon leave the company, never to draw either Spidey or Doc again. As we explained in our Spider-Man Origins series, Ditko may have stayed as long as he did because the Ditko family, immigrants from the Ukraine, believed very strongly in the motto "NEVER QUIT." This fierce determination can be seen when Spidey famously lifts that giant machinery off himself.
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Yet despite all that, Ditko DID quit Marvel!

How did Mr. Ditko arrive at this extremely difficult decision? I believe he sought the advice of the person he most admired, respected and loved in the whole world (definitely NOT Stan Lee).

I believe Ditko asked this person what to do, and this person told Steve that he already had the means to make his decision -- just like Doc and ETERNITY.
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In my view, this person's counsel cleared the way for Ditko to quit Marvel, and walk away from Spider-Man and Doc with a clear conscience, never look back, all thanks to this person.

"This person" is the person on whom I believe ETERNITY is based.
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I believe that ETERNITY, clearly a stand-in for "the creator," was, in fact, one of Steve Ditko's actual earthly creators. And since ETERNITY is obviously a male figure, it wasn't his mother.

In my opinion, ETERNITY represents Steve Ditko's father, Steven J. Ditko, Sr.

My theory is that Ditko, wanting to leave Marvel, sought the counsel of his father, who told him a version of what ETERNITY told Doc: You already KNOW what you want to do, and you don't need permission from me, or anyone else.

As the Bard wrote, there's only one way to live: "To thine own self be true."

A is A.

P.S. ETERNAL thanks to Mr. Steve Ditko.
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