My First Joe Kubert Comic

As you may have already heard, comics legend Joe Kubert passed away this weekend at age 85. I've expressed the opinion that he was my favorite artist of all time before, and it's a statement I've never been inspired to retract. Now he is gone, and he leaves us a huge legacy of comics work, sons who went into comics themselves, and countless students who benefited from the Kubert School. I once did a post just to showcase his art, with barely any other content. He's one of the few artists who have their own label on Your Daily Splash Page. How can I further pay him tribute? Well, I've been thinking about what my first Joe Kubert comic might have been. It wasn't a war comic, or a "primitive" adventure (Tarzan, Tor, Firehair), even if those are what he's best known for. No, it was a superhero comic: DC Comics Presents #66 (Feb. 1984).
Kubert hadn't done much superhero work since the Hawkman days, especially not interiors, though he produced amazing covers for all sorts of comics right up to the 2010s. So a Superman/Demon story was an unusual event, and look, DC even advertized his name on the cover, something that wasn't regularly done at the time (not on DCP anyway). But of course, I had no way of knowing this. I was all of 12 in November of '83 when this book was on the stands, at a time in my life when I might pick up just about anything, and when one artist was probably as good as the next, mostly interchangeable.

But I knew there were some artists whose work was distinctly different, and this Joe Kubert was one of them. His line work is so bold, expressive and confident that it looks like it was done in ink directly. This particular issue stands up today, no surprise, thanks to its dynamic art. Even his signature is awesome! DCP was full of one-off villains, and #66's Blackbriar Thorn, a big wooden druid, was one of these, but he still managed to sneak into Crisis on Infinite Earths and Who's Who, probably because Kubert made him so appealing visually. And Kubert must also be the reason Geoff Johns resurrected B.T. in the 2000s as a JSA villain. He's only 2 years younger than I am, so the perfect age to get struck by the Kubert lightning.

You will be missed, Master Kubert. There will never be another like you, though you live on in Andy and Adam and the many other illustrators he inspired and mentored. The silver lining for me is that I know I haven't seen or read all of your work yet. A tearful joy awaits me in that exploration.


Martin Gray said...

The first Joe Kubert I saw was a Tarzan ad in early Seventies DC comics. The first story I read was a Hawkman reprinted in a 100pp Super-Spectacular or similar Giant. I loved the liveliness of the linework. It was always a treat to find him stepping outside the war arena to give Superman, the All-Star Squadron, Flash or whomever the Kubert treatment.

What a legacy he leaves. I hope we still get a full run of Joe Kubert Presents.

Siskoid said...

Now more than ever.

Anonymous said...

RIP.I was talking about this with a friend, me and my dad never had much in common, I was a sci-fi/comic book/RPG/ geek, and my dad was a "guys'mguy", and although he loved me, we never had a lot in common, the one thing we did have in common was his thrill of reading old issues of Sgt Rock and Haunted Tank with me from an old flea market that sold them for about the outrageous price of 5 for .50 cents.Thanks Mr Kubert....

Siskoid said...

Thanks for that personal story, SonoftheSun. It's a great testimonial about how art brings people together.


Blog Archive


5 Things to Like Activities Advice Alien Nation Aliens Say the Darndest Things Alpha Flight Amalgam Ambush Bug Animal Man anime Aquaman Archetypes Archie Heroes Arrowed Asterix Atom Avengers Awards Babylon 5 Batman Battle Shovel Battlestar Galactica Black Canary BnB 2-in1 Books Booster Gold Buffy Canada Captain America Captain Marvel Cat CCGs Charlton Circles of Hell Class Comics Comics Code Approved Conan Contest Cooking Crisis Daredevil Dating Kara Zor-El Dating Lois Lane Dating Lucy Lane Dating Princess Diana DCAU Deadman Dial H Dice Dinosaur Island Dinosaurs Director Profiles Doctor Who Doom Patrol Down the Rabbit Hole Dr. Strange Encyclopedia Fantastic Four Fashion Nightmares Fiasco Films Within Films Flash Flushpoint Foldees French Friday Night Fights Fun with Covers FW Team-Up Galleries Game design Gaming Geekly roundup Geeks Anonymous Geekwear Gimme That Star Trek Godzilla Golden Age Grant Morrison Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction Green Arrow Green Lantern Hawkman Hero Points Podcast Holidays House of Mystery Hulk Human Target Improv Inspiration Intersect Invasion Invasion Podcast Iron Man Jack Kirby Jimmy Olsen JLA JSA Judge Dredd K9 the Series Kirby Motivationals Krypto Kung Fu Learning to Fly Legion Letters pages Liveblog Lonely Hearts Podcast Lord of the Rings Machine Man Motivationals Man-Thing Marquee Masters of the Universe Memes Memorable Moments Metal Men Metamorpho Micronauts Millennium Mini-Comics Monday Morning Macking Movies Mr. Terrific Music Nelvana of the Northern Lights Nightmare Fuel Number Ones Obituaries oHOTmu OR NOT? Old52 One Panel Outsiders Panels from Sheena Paper Dolls Play Podcast Polls Questionable Fridays Radio Rants Reaganocomics Recollected Red Bee Red Tornado Reign Retro-Comics Reviews Rom RPGs Sandman Sapphire & Steel Sarah Jane Adventures Saturday Morning Cartoons SBG for Girls Seasons of DWAITAS Secret Origins Podcast Secret Wars SF Shut Up Star Boy Silver Age Siskoid as Editor Siskoid's Mailbox Space 1999 Spectre Spider-Man Spring Cleaning ST non-fiction ST novels: DS9 ST novels: S.C.E. ST novels: The Shat ST novels: TNG ST novels: TOS Star Trek Streaky Suicide Squad Supergirl Superman Supershill Swamp Thing Tales from Earth-Prime Team Horrible Teen Titans That Franchise I Never Talk About The Prisoner The Thing Then and Now Theory Thor Thursdays of Two Worlds Time Capsule Timeslip Tintin Torchwood Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms Toys Turnarounds TV V Waking Life Warehouse 13 Websites What If? Who's This? Whoniverse-B Wikileaked Wonder Woman X-Files X-Men Zero Hour Strikes Zine