Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Viking Prince!

It was the right place and the right time. I picked up The Viking Prince, the hardback collection which came out from DC a few years ago featuring the artwork of Joe Kubert on his long ago project for The Brave and the Bold. Viking Prince was an attempt to evoke that Prince Valiant feel in a comic dedicated to classic heroes from historical times. The comic featured in addition to Viking Prince, the Golden Gladiator and the Silent Knight.  Bob Haney was tapped to write the Viking Prince stories, which he handed then to Kubert for his memorable artistic treatment.

Here are the The Brave and the Bold covers featuring The Viking Prince. Aside from the debut which is an assembly of interior artwork, the covers are the work of veteran Irv Novick who drew the Silent Knight feature inside.

Joe Kubert rendered the last three Viking Prince covers.

The collection also includes the Viking Prince's appearances in Our Army at War alongside grizzled war veteran Frank Rock and his Easy Company. It's not a team up that makes much sense, but this is comics we're talking about. I want to read these stories.

Here are a few more covers featuring the character as rendered by Kubert.

Though not included, I have to say the two Justice League of America tales featuring Viking Prince as well as other "historical" DC characters are a real nostalgic fave for me. Again, it doesn't make sense, but so what.

My research on Viking Prince has discovered an early 90's graphic novel by Lee Marrs and Bo Hampton. I know nothing else about it, but it might be neat to check out if I can find it, and find it for a reasonable price.

All in all it's a handsome collection to have, full of early but vigorous Kubert artwork. Though he speaks kindly of the series in the introduction, in which he gives great credit to his co-producers, Kubert didn't demonstrate much sentimental attachment to the character in the biography by Bill Schelly. That surprised me frankly. But nonetheless, I'm eager to read this volume. How it reads I'll have to see, but the early stories are spare but very effective.

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