Being a gallery of comics covers featuring The Unknown Soldier, drawn mostly by Joe Kubert (1926-2012). Yes, okay, a cursory bit of staid analysis and a little tearful nostalgia too, but mostly some timelessly exciting imagery. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did (and continue to). Art by Gerry Talaoc
Anyway, this... It will be readily apparent to even the most bleary of eyes that the majority of the covers below are by Joe Kubert. The rare exceptions are by Ernie Chua (Ernie Chan) and Al Milgrom. The difference is striking. Noting that difference is certainly no slur on either man as Joe Kubert had few equals when it came to cover art and design, and even fewer equals when it came to war comic cover design.
Because Kubert provide covers for the majority of the Faceless G.I.'s escapades this gallery, incomplete as it may be, highlights several aspects of Kubert's cover art. There's no escaping Kubert's fondness for the cover delivering the chilly thrill equvalent to the "He's Behind You!" of children's pantomimes. (e.g. #166,#174, #181 etc) Joe Kubert would never get tired of this device and because Joe Kubert was an amazing talent it never got old. So amazingly talented was Joe Kubert that he could produce covers which could still capture the eye despite teetering dangerously close to the generic. (e.g. #185, #192,#193 etc) Back then it was not uncommon for covers to be held on file for use in the event of a deadline chrunch, so this explains the lack of specificity here rather than any disinterest on Kubert's part. Those are the least of these covers, and they are also the fewest. (They are still good though.) Outnumbering them by far are images so pulpily explosive I want to go and find out what's going on inside that comic right now. And I already know!
And just as I can recall the exact page of Gullivar Jones: Warrior of Mars where I fell in love with Gil Kane's work, so I can remember exactly which comic cover sold me on Joe Kubert for life. It's #195. An American relative visited us when I was under 10 and brought with them a pile of comics. Yes, even then everyone knew no good would come of me. I can't remember any of the other comics but I remember that one. I remember that one because the charge of violent menace coming off it was almost palpable. I recall that for several months I kept it beneath my bed and, when feeling brave, would lean over and inch it out with my finger until I could take its horrid promise no more and scoot it hurriedly back into the darkness. Brrrr!
Sometimes I think The Unknown Soldier is in danger of being forgotten by Comics, but I shouldn't worry because Comics will never forget Joe Kubert and their legends are entwined. He co-created him after all.
The Unknown Soldier was created by Joe Kubert & Robert Kanigher
So, no, I don't have the final issue. Humph!
You know what those were right? COMICS!!!