A “Comic”ly Fun Time in Nam


Writer: Brian Azzarello
Artist: JG Jones
Publisher: DC
Reviewer: Optimous Douche (email me by clicking my name -me am lonely)

For the purists who got @$$ed up about the liberal changing of history and comic/movie canon in COMEDIAN 1 (especially the Jackie and Marilyn scenes) it is now time to rejoice. COMEDIAN 2 not only adheres to historical accuracy it blends it in such a way that I immediately closed the last page and began to hella-Wiki and super-Google to see if I could catch the Wonderful Wizard of Azz with his proverbial pants down.

While Wikipedia or any source named after something Hawaiian should never be considered the panacea of factual information, the great Wiki-Wiki has proven close enough to perfect that it is the bane of my existence as an Internet marketer in trying to trump its position for longtail keywords. Page trust is the new barometer for bullshit.

So, as the COMEDIAN sat next to Robert Kennedy at a Mohamed Ali boxing match lamenting the queerness of Hoover (my words – the book was not so blatant), the corruption of Hoffa, and RFK’s next level of political ambition, my mind began to piece together what year we jumped to since issue 1. Thanks to Azz and Jones’ attention to detail, a quick trip off Wiki to YouTube showed the exact fight where Ali was shouting, “I shook up the world” and the defeated fighter’s handlers wore “Sonny” on the back of their shirts (not a sports fan, sorry – the only Sonny I know is Bono).

For those that still don’t know the year, it’s 1964. Now of course I could piece out the rough timeframe we’re in when the COMEDIAN mentions he’s being sent as an “Advisor” to Vietnam, the inappropriate term for soldiers before Vietnam escalated to a wa..a conflict, but when we talk WATCHMEN the deliciousness is always in the details.

The rest of this chapter shows Eddie bonding with his new unit and sets up a conspiracy theorist’s wet dream. Many believe we were in Vietnam, not to stop communism, but to set up drug channels and thin the ever burgeoning herd of US citizens. During these scenes we get to see a softer side of Eddie, the side with the utmost respect for fellow soldiers. Now, since he’s insane he still charges into battle with reckless abandon and I give kudos to Jones for making these moments intense without bleeding into outright gore and guts. Sometimes things are more impactful when left to the imagination.

The book ends where Vietnam officially began, with the firing on the USS Maddox in the Gulf of Tonkin. Here Azz masterfully wove in LBJ’s speech of this event in the dialog bubbles as Jones’ art work showed the jungle and the world about to burn.

Again, if you had history problems with the last COMEDIAN they have been rectified. Personally, I liked the other side of Jackie in issue 1 and feel that Marilyn’s death was more than appropriate for a piece of fiction. I was also perfectly fine with Eddie being a friend of JFK as opposed to the man on the grassy knoll in Dallas. Really, what other President could have out drank and out screwed the COMEDIAN?

Next stop, bungle in the jungle with our favorite big blue dick (literally and figuratively), Dr. Manhattan.

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A “Comic”ly Fun Time in Nam”

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  1. kcviking says:

    Glad that you touched on the “softer side” of Eddie. It was, imho, the best part of this issue. It’s nice to see that Azz hasn’t forgotten that besides being a lunatic, Eddies a human being as well.

    Any idea on the sales numbers for the whole Before Watchmen series? Aside from Minutemen I’ve really been pleasantly suprised with the issues so far.

  2. optimous_douche says:

    DC had a clear sales success with all four of the Before Watchmen titles released in June selling over 100,000 units. While some of these stories could have been told with renamed characters in different costumes, the result would have been drastically lower sales, so while people might debate the pros and cons of DC telling more stories in the Watchmen universe, from a sales perspective it was a good move. While fans might be conflicted on this, there was a lot of curiosity about it. Even if sales drop on these titles going forward, DC will have some companion trade paperbacks to go along with “Watchmen,” which was in third place on the top trades list with an estimated 11,372 units of reorder activity. The sales of the final issue of these miniseries will be more indicative of what the reader interest actually was. If the collected editions come anywhere close to the evergreen status of the “Watchmen” trade paperback, that, too, will financially justify the decision to do Before Watchmen.

  3. kcviking says:

    I can’t imagine sales dropping with Doc Manhattan and Rorschach starting up and the continuing of Silk, Comedian, Ozymandias (which have been superb so far).

    I figured you’d shoot me a link for the numbers. Thanks for the info!

    p.s.- ask j.d. where the Babes in Toyland review is. :)

  4. Optimous Douche says:

    JD is too busy taunting me right now on Ain’t It Cool for his elite powers of access to BATCOW.

    Yeah, where is BABES IN TOYLAND DAMNIT!!!!

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