Tuesday, January 10, 2017

A Month of... Celebrities in Comics, Day 10: Just a Pilgrim

Hey, it's Big Bad John!

John Wayne, that is, as portrayed in The 'Nam, Marvel's pretty-provocative saga of an active-duty unit in the Vietnam War, following characters as they moved in an out of their military rotations.

Panel from The 'Nam #41 (February 1990), script by Doug Murray, pencils by Wayne Vansant, inks by Geof Isherwood, colors and letters by Phil Felix

The cast of The 'Nam held Wayne's 1968 movie The Green Berets in about as much regard as did Roger Ebert...
"The Green Berets" simply will not do as a film about the war in Vietnam. It is offensive not only to those who oppose American policy but even to those who support it. At this moment in our history, locked in the longest and one of the most controversial wars we have ever fought, what we certainly do not need is a movie depicting Vietnam in terms of cowboys and Indians. That is cruel and dishonest and unworthy of the thousands who have died there.... If I were a soldier in Vietnam, I would not want to be represented by "The Green Berets." I would not want my fellow citizens to think I was as stupid and simple-minded as the Americans in this film.
...which is, none at all. It's one of the most reviled of John Wayne's films.

Despite his mention, I'm pretty sure that's not s'posed to be George Takei's character in the panel below (see stills from the movie for comparison), so I can't claim him as one of the celebrities appearing in this comic book.

However, we can add to the tally of real-life persons in comics this appearance of North Vietnam President Ho Chi Minh, if we count political figures, which I do (and will later throughout this feature!).

Except holy cow I don't remember the Marvel Superheroes breaking up the Vietnam War! Good thing it's just a fantasy sequence brought on by grunt Mike "Iceman" Phillips reading a contemporary Marvel comic book.

Which hey, allows me to also classify this post as another entry in Comics within Comics! Iceman, of course, was reading the special edition of FF #60 with the "censored" brown background specially printed for servicemen.

Cover of Fantastic Four (1961 series) #60 (March 1967), pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Joe Sinnott, colors by Stan Goldberg, letters by Sam Rosen

Altho' they reversed the policy to later include The Punisher in The 'Nam comics, Marvel was at first dead-set on insisting the stories took place in the "real world" and not the Marvel Universe, which is why the cover to this issue comes as such a surprise:

Cover of The 'Nam (February 1990), pencils by John Romita Sr. and Ron Frenz; inks by John Romita Sr.

Such a surprise that even the corner box was flabbergasted!

And no, it didn't even take place during Assistant Editor's Month.


Robt Seda-Schreiber said...

Know it's only been a few days (that's human-time, dunno what that is in lil'-stuffed-bull-time), but I miss yer posts & worry just a smidge when you are gone from my virtual world.
Hope you & yours are well & good & we see you again soon, mi pequeño amigo toro...

Bully said...

Thanks Robt! I appreciate you checking in. I was having some FTP issues that kicked me offline for a couple days. I appreciate your concern and you can catch up on all the missed posts now!

Red shadow said...

Hi Bully,
Was wondering why the cover ws censored for servicemen?
Can't see anything that would need changing and googling just brings me back to this post.

Bully said...

Hi Red Shadow! I was only joking about the censorship, noticing that the real FF #60 cover background was white but the one portrayed in the comic was brown!