Conflict then; trauma now : reading Vietnam across the decades in American comics

EARLE, Harriet (2018). Conflict then; trauma now : reading Vietnam across the decades in American comics. European Journal of American Culture, 37 (2), 159-172.

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Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1386/ejac.37.2.159_1

Abstract

This article will consider the shift in representations of the Vietnam War in American comics, concentrating specifically on the shift from gung-ho violence and patriotism to nuanced personal narratives of trauma and the psychological impact of conflict. I will compare and contrast three comics series: The ‘Nam, a Marvel series that ran from 1986 to 1993; The Punisher Invades the ‘Nam, a crossover series that comprises two arcs over five issues in 1990 and 1992; and Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson’s The Punisher: Born ([2003] 2007), an origin story that positions trauma as a survival tool within theatre. Vietnam as a conflict event and a cultural touchstone has affected the way we view violence in the twenty-first century. I discuss how comics has measured and represented the shift in positioning of violence and conflict from earlier wars through Vietnam to the present day. I close by asking to what extent our tools and tropes for representation of violence have changed and ask if there remain some last strands of continuity from pre-Vietnam violence texts.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** From Crossref via Jisc Publications Router.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cultural Studies, History, Anthropology
Departments: Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities > Humanities
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1386/ejac.37.2.159_1
SWORD Depositor: Margaret Boot
Depositing User: Margaret Boot
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2018 11:28
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2018 06:55
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/21655

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