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 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.
It’s a return to the regular coverage of The ‘Nam with the first of a three-part storyline that takes us back to the Tet Offensive of 1968, “The Beginning of the End.” I’ll take a look at issue #79 of the series and will also finish up the two-part Punisher/Iceman storyline from Punisher War Journal by looking at issue #53 of that comic. Plus, I round things out by looking at the history behind the war in January-March of 1973.
The Joes and Cobras fight high above the Earth in G.I. Joe #65, Frank Castle takes on a cult leader in The Punisher #4 and I look at what’s going on the Marvel Universe with Marvel Age #56. Plus … MEAT LOAF!!!
I go headlong into the Marvel mainstream as Kraven’s Last Hunt continues in The Amazing Spider-Man #293 and Frank Castle takes on a white supremacist militia in The Punisher #3. Plus, since my copy of the Punisher’s book is an actual physical comic book, I get to look at letters and ads! Oh the fun we have!
Buster Witwicky fights off Ratbat in the Car Wash of Doom and The Punisher takes down a drug cartel in Bolivia! It’s the latest episode of Origin Story where I have a two-fer of Marvel Comics from 1987, starting with The Transformers #31 and ending with The Punisher #2.
The finale of the second three-part “Punisher Invades The ‘Nam” and Chuck Dixon’s last issue of the series takes us through the end of Iceman’s story about Frank Castle’s time in country, with plenty of action, as Frank defends a firebase and confronts the colonel who may or may not know about the shady things that have led to his fellow soldiers’ deaths. It’s “Down to the Ground” by Chuck Dixon, Kevin Kobasic, adn Jimmy Palmiotti in The ‘Nam #69.
I take a look at the issue and reflect on the overall Punisher storyline and also look at the historical background for January and February of 1972.