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Comic Reviews December 2006 – THE OTHER SIDE #3 (OF 5) – Vertigo

Posted by Adrian on December 29, 2006

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THE OTHER SIDE #3

Vertigo put’s out some intelligent comics, The Other Side is one of those comics. A Vietnam war horror story. Written by Jason Aaron, art by Cameron Stewart. Two soldiers, one a North Vietnamese regular solider (Vo Dai) and the other a Marine (Everette) of his first tour of duty. The story is split in two, with both soldiers inevitably heading towards a confrontation and how they cope with a psychotic war. The horror aspect in this comic is that both men have visions of zombies and the dead haunting them and their guns and bullets urging them to kill – as they march forward to battle. It’s a psychosis of a story. Are they both going insane? Or are the dead a representation of the apocalypse, manifested by a pointless war? Urging them on, to die. There is a nihilistic aspect to the story, a hopelessness.

The Other Side also deals with the immense fire power unleashed on the North Vietnamese, and Viet Cong during that war. It deals with what that does to a society, tribal or otherwise. I am unsure how accurate the writer is in his representation of the Viet Cong as these single mined psychological deranged insurgents and North Vietnamese regular army as the fresh eyed recruits. Maybe he is correct. But there parallels are created to show to fresh army regulars, the Marine and the Vietnamese regular and the similarities in their march to their inevitable destiny on the battlefield. Again, were the North Vietnamese ordered on death marches?

The art is eerie, the action sequences amazingly structured. Memorable artistic standouts is a page spread (THE OTHER SIDE #2), showing the aftermath of a napalm attack and tigers ripping apart the dead, and mutilated corpses.

What an amazing comic, emotional, horrific and sad.

Go get this comic.

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