Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!
Today we continue our look at features in Star Spangled War Stories with a look at the most successful Star Spangled War Stories feature (so successful that it took over the title completely), The Unknown Soldier, specifically the initial run by Joe Kubert (and friends)….
The Unknown Soldier was a concept introduced by Kanigher and Kubert in a Sgt. Rock story. They thought he was interesting enough to make him the lead feature in Star-Spangled War Stories, and they’re really right,as the character fits in really well to the Kanigher style of stories (you know, the same basic story every other month, just done with a twist) because you can adapt him to pretty much any style of war comic that you want.
Here’s the awesome Kubert cover from his first issue as the lead of the comic…
And a quick recap about the history of the Unknown Soldier…
So basically, every issue, the Unknown Soldier would disguise himself as SOMEone different and have an adventure.
It was really that simple – but also that effective.
Initially he was written by Kanigher along with art by Kubert, but for most of Kubert’s run (which lasted for about a year’s worth of stories), Kubert actually wrote as many of the issues as Kanigher – and then Bob Haney pretty much filled in for Kanigher completely.
He also had a few run-ins with other established DC characters, like this one featuring Kubert fave Sgt. Rock…
Simply put, any comic that had regular Joe Kubert art was going to be good, and the Unknown Soldier was no exception.
After Kubert left, Jack Sparling took over for awhile. Archie Goodwin wrote the book for awhile. There were some really good runs later on in the series that I’ll likely get to at some point in this year.
The series continued in Star-Spangled until the early #200s, where it took over the book and ran by itself for another 60 or so issues before finally being canceled in the early 1980s.
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