I never did care much for war comics as a kid, and so always flipped past back issues The ‘Nam when searching for the latest Wolverine. But now that the latest book has got me looking for ways to bring the jungles of Long Khanh Province alive, I’ve found myself relying on some choice The ‘Nam panels for visual inspiration. Though the plots tend to be pretty formulaic (bordering on cliched), there’s tremendous psychological depth to many of the depictions of combat—the creators do a nice job of creating a brutal juxtaposition between the ideals and realities of war. (Case in point.)
There are also moments throughout the series that focus on the isolating aspects of overseas service—a stressor too seldom mentioned in accounts of soldiers’ mental well-being. The military tried to counter those feelings by brining in a never-ending series of beautiful girls in go-go boots to entertain the troops. As depicted in Apocalypse Now, such shows invariably spiraled out of control as the men’s libidos got the best of them. But according to this issue of The ‘Nam, this seemingly salacious entertainment was fundamentally more wholesome than a typical 4-H fair.
The truth, I’m certain, is somewhere in the middle—isn’t it always?
Much more about the lady above, Chris Noel, can be found here; how I wish I could find a second source to verify the claim that the Vietcong put a $10,000 bounty on her head.