That’s right, it is the FINAL episode of “In Country”! And in this one, I am taking a look at the last issue of The ‘Nam, which is The ‘Nam #84. Written by Don Lomax with art by Alberto Saichann, “The Letter” follows several NVA and VC fighters through the jungles of North and South Vietnam and centers around a letter a little girl wrote to her father, who has been fighting int he war for years. After doing my synopsis and review, I then look at the ads and the last lettercolumn of the series, which includes an editorial farewell, and give my final thoughts on the series and this podcast.
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 take one last trip to Vietnam at the movies by looking at the final film in Oliver Stone’s Vietnam trilogy, 1993’s Heaven and Earth. I review the film and also take a look at its source material, two memoirs by Le Ly Hayslip, When Heaven and Earth Changed Places and Child of War Woman of Peace.
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.
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.
This time around, I take a break from my regular coverage of the comic to bring you one of the landmark films about the Vietnam War, 1978’s The Deer Hunter, which stars Robert DeNiro, Christopher Walken, and Meryl Streep. For my look at the film, I’m joined by fellow TTF podcaster, Luke Jaconetti. We talk about Michael Cimino’s Best Picture winner by looking at the plot and characters but also its symbolic/metaphorical meanings; and its reputation and resonance as a film about Vietnam, war, and America.