Friday, November 8, 2019

Indiana Jones and Nam

Two Modern Age (or Copper Age-depending on who you talk to) comic book classics that deserve to get much more attention than they are given are Indiana Jones #1 and Nam #1 from Marvel Comics.

The Indiana Jones comic book rights were secured by Marvel Comics after its successful adaptation of Lucas Films Star Wars.

Marvel Comics and Lucas Films agreed that Lucas Films would have total editorial and creative control over the comic book’s content and context.

John Byrne was the superstar penciller at Marvel at the time and he was chosen to write and draw the new series.

Byrne’s longtime collaborator on The Uncanny X-Men: Terry Austin, would ink the series.

It seemed like a perfect match and it would have been except for Lucas Films unreasonable editorial demands-some that required changes to the book mere days before it was sent to the press.

John and Terry lasted two issues and quit the series because of the unreasonable editorial demands by Lucas Films.

The series would continue on for over 30 issues and eventually cease publication.  Both the Temple Of Doom and The Last Crusade mini-series would be produced.

Indiana Jones #1 and #2 (in my opinion) are by far the best Indiana Jones comic book adaptations ever produced. 

Too bad Byrne and Austin did not continue the series.

For some one my age (66) The Vietnam War was a very harsh and scary reality.

When I turned 19 years old I was eligible for the draft.  Fortunately my draft number was not chosen and I was able to continue my college education.

Many of my friends and classmates were not so fortunate and many did not return save in a pine box.

Vietnam was a no-win war.  Bad decisions by the various Presidential powers that were in charge at that time chose to pull back on military actions resulting in a war where soldiers died retaking locations that had already secured.

America was gong through a huge cultural change and the youth of that time questioned authority of all sorts which included political and military powers.

It was a turbulent time and delivered a deep wound still felt in America today.

Marvel Comics decided to reintroduce War Comics and chose the Vietnam War as its subject. 

Nam #1 by Doug Murray and penciller Michael Golden depicted the war, as it was: frightening, violent and fought by soldiers barely in their late teens and early twenties.

Golden’s art was amazing in its details right down to the weapons used, the uniforms, aircraft, military vehicles and the renditions of the wide ethnic variety of soldiers that served.

The Vietnam War deserves to be remembered and Nam #1 is a good way to start.

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