In the penultimate episode of In Country, I take time out from comics, movies, and the Vietnam War to talk about the war’s aftermath and Vietnam itself. The episode begins with the history of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. along with descriptions of two other Vietnam War memorials that I’ve been to on Long Island and in Charlottesville. I then talk about the postwar history of Vietnam and U.S. relations with Vietnam as well as look at the country in the present day via season 8, episode 1 of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. Plus, listener feedback!
This time around, I look at The ‘Nam #83, the final issue of Wayne Vansant’s longtime run as artist and the last part of our look at Ed Marks’ time working with Bulldog and Dai-Uy in Vietnam. I also take a look at historical context for the end of the war, describing what happens throughout all of 1974 before looking at the events of January-April 1975, with a special focus on the fall of Saigon on April 29 and 30, 1975.
This time around, it’s one final look at The Punisher and his experience in the Vietnam War. We’ve seen him “invade The ‘Nam” three times already, but what about how it was told through one of the most acclaimed runs featuring Frank Castle? I take a look at how Garth Ennis told the story of Frank Castle in Vietnam through three connecting storylines: “Born”, “Valley Forge, Valley Forge”, and “The Platoon.”
It’s back to our regular comics coverage with The ‘Nam #82. In “Hue”, we see more of the Tet Offensive and the story of Dai Uy, the ARVN soldier who has been telling Ed Marks about his experience in 1968. It comes courtesy of Don Lomax and Wayne Vansant. I also spend time looking at the rest of 1973, which includes events surrounding Watergate and the New York Mets.
It’s time to do another tour with Frank Castle as I look at two separate Punisher storylines from the 1990s. First up is the trade paperback The Punisher in The ‘Nam: Final Invasion, a post-cancellation publication of what was supposed to be issues #84, 85, and 86 of the series. In it, Frank re-ups for another assignment and takes on a mission to rescue a group of POWs from a NVA camp called “The Death Hole.”
The second storyline is a five-parter from Punisher: War Zone #26-30 where Ice has to rescue Frank when he is captured by a powerful gangster who runs a cartel on an island nation in Latin America.
In celebration of the 80th anniversary of Batman and the 30th anniversary of the release of Tim Burton’s first Batman film, I am taking a look at my own Bat-fandom, focusing specifically on Mark Cotta Vaz’s 1989 book Tales of the Dark Knight: Batman’s First Fifty Years, 1939-1989. I cover what’s in the book as well as talk about my Batman origin story and why this book was so important to my fandom.
This time around, I take a look at issue #81 of the series, which is part three of the three-part Tet Offensive storyline “The Beginning of the End”, plus historical context from the summer of 1973. Then, I look at five documentaries about the Vietnam War.
My coverage of Don Lomax’s run on The ‘Nam continues with issue #78, a story about combat in Quang Tri through the eyes of Ed Marks. Plus, we get the next chapter in the “Stateside” backup as Rob Little and Sarge try to track down Top, who may have been involved in the death of Rob’s brother Eugene. Then, I look at an article about the comic in Marvel Age #122 followed by a Punisher/Ice team-up in Punisher War Journal #52. It’s all this and the historical context for the fall and winter of 1972.
In what is now an annual Pop Culture Affidavit tradition, it’s time for us to celebrate Festivus, the holiday that is for the rest of us! This year, I’m joined for the airing of grievances and the feats of strength by The Irredeemable Shag. We complain about fandom and other things that irritate us and then follow that up by looking at War Dancer #4, which was published in 1994 by Defiant Comics.
I’m back to the classic format of the show and back to some classic characters as I take a look at issue #76 of The ‘Nam, a story titled “Brothers” that stars Rob Little. It’s June 1972 and while standing at the grave of his brother Eugene, Rob flashes back to a story from 1967 where he and Ed Marks help a paymaster complete his job of getting back pay to GIs in the field.
Plus, I take a look at the history of the war in June 1972.