The Man Who Stepped Out of a Cloud is a short, five paged story by Steve Ditko and an uncredited writer that appeared in Out of This World #5, a short lived title from Charlton. This story from 1957 first came to my attention some years ago when Andy Mangels first shared the information that comprised the LGBT Comics Timeline. Due to its obscurity and having several Ditko drawn stories made it highly collectible and out of my budget. Thankfully the folks at Fantagraphics included this tale in its Unexplored Worlds – The Steve Ditko Archives (vol 2). The book collects over 200 pages of sci-fi themed stories from this phase of Ditko’s career and is itself nicely designed with sewn binding. My one complaint is the choice of purple lettering in a small font on the contents pages against a black background on the contents pages, which makes it nearly impossible to read.
The plot is simple: an alien arrives on Earth for some undisclosed mission and his arrival is witnessed by a lone teen boy. The teen is lonely and isolated and there are hints of an unstable home and ungrateful foster parents. In order to keep his mission a secret, the alien is commanded to bring the boy to their home world, a world seemingly populated only by men. Keep in mind while reading the story that the Comics Code Authority which prohibited any positive portrayals of homosexuality had formed and begun regulating comics the year before.