Joe Kubert is, rightly so, fondly remembered for his work on a fantastic array of war titles along with plenty of adventure comics. His Sgt. Rock, Enemy Ace, and Tarzan books will hopefully be around for years to come. Kubert also spent a lot of time with the character of Hawkman, a figure he returned to in 1982′s Justice League of America #200.
This special issue celebrated the then-22 year career of the JLA. In commemoration of their 200th issue, writer Gerry Conway worked together with some of the most celebrated artists who had ever drawn these characters. Gil Kane, George Perez, Brian Bolland, Carmine Infantino, Jim Aparo, Patrick Broderick, and Dick Giordano all handled sections of this one issue. Also on this issue was Joe Kubert.
Conway brought the original members of the JLA into conflict with the 1982 satellite roster of the team. Brainwashed by the first villain the JLA ever fought, the Martian Manhunter, Wonder Woman, Batman, and others fought their fellow JLAers. Each individual fight was handled by a separate artist. During this adventure, a muddled Superman went toe-to-toe with Hawkman and won handily. This image of Kubert’s, with Hawkman breaking his mace on Superman’s face, is an amazing moment and one not soon forgotten. Kubert’s take on Superman is wonderful. It borrows heavily from Joe Shuster’s original squinty-eyed design and conveys the power behind the world’s first superhero. Hawkman’s surprise at finding himself fighting the real Superman and not some sort of robot doppelganger is presented beautifully.
A special thanks to Evan “Doc” Shaner for bringing this page (and issue!) to my attention in the days following Joe Kubert’s death last month.