Monday, February 4, 2013

Joe Kubert Presents #4 (of 6)

There's a certain amount of sadness in reading this series, since the legendary Joe Kubert passed away recently.

Which means we're seeing some of the last works by that writer / artist / editor / creator.

Thankfully, we're seeing all those aspects of Kubert (wait, I left out colorist), as he assembled this collection that includes one of his long-delayed creations, The Redeemer.

Originally planned as a mini-series 30 years ago, the story followed the different lives of Jim Torkan, a heroic figure who faces evil and temptation across the centuries, as we follow him in different incarnations.

It's a clever idea that allows for almost any setting and any time period. This issue focuses on Torkan's life just after the Civil War, as he travels out west and gets involved in assorted adventures (and runs into a familiar face along the way).

As always, Kubert's art is amazing. His characters are real, with heft and weight and emotions clearly on display. Like a great director, Kubert knows when to thrill us with expansive, detailed action sequences, and when to "push in" for maximum effect.

The issue is rounded out with two other features: Angel and the Ape by Brian Buniak is a comical, sexy romp that includes a big fight with mechanical dinosaurs; and another tale of Sam Glanzman's experiences during World War II as a sailor on the U.S.S. Stevens.

This is an outstanding series - a final chance to catch a glimpse of work by a master of the craft, taken from us all too soon.

Grade: A


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