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Feburary Comic Reviews – The Other Side #4 of 5 (Vertigo Comics)

Posted by Adrian on February 1, 2007



What an amazing introduction on the first page, which is the continuation of the story of the fresh recruit Everette (Marine) and Vo Dai of the North Vietnamese Army. The panel sequence on the first page is an astounding piece of art and comic writing. It starts with a butterfly flying through the jungle, with each drawing of the butterfly moving through the foliage, the narration is a letter been read by Everette, from his mother. Excellent combination of dialogue and comic art sequence. The last two panels shows the butterfly flying closer to the battle, that Everette and Vo Dai have inevitably ended up fighting each other in. The last panel is the butterfly flying through a spray of blood, in the thick of battle. The dialogue of Everette’s mother writing about how God is watching over him and how they (America) will win the war and kill the ‘commies’. Is just perfect within the sequence. The action continues with Everette and Vo Dai (‘the other side’), which you could assume fate or luck has brought them together fighting each other from too different sides. It’s a bloody skirmish, again detailed drawn panels showing the gore of battle. Everette loses it as he sees the butterfly and stops shooting, pointing at the butterfly. His platoon Sergeant tries to push him down to cover, and the Sergeant gets shot through the neck.

This issue, deals with Everette mothers letter and her presents of pies. The letter narration shows the arrogance and naivety of the American public (at that time) to the horror of the Vietnam conflict and what it did mentally to a lot of field soldiers.

The second part of #4 is Everette writing back to his mother; in which he relays the reality of the situation in his return letter. Vo Dai attempts to grasp the sheer magnitude of firepower of the American military machine, what it will do to his country and family. There is a lot of deconstruction of the main characters in this, in which Jason Aaron (writer); breaks down both characters, yet rebuilds them almost as the same person, same fears, same mental distress.

The Other Side isn’t just a documentation, or story of the Vietnam war per say, it’s a horror story within the reality of the horror of the Vietnam conflict. Everette is plagued by nightmares, apparitions of zombies and the dead, his rifle also talks to him. On the other side Vo Dai is plagued by similar horrific manifestations, or hallucinations. His, are of bodies of Vietnamese civilians piling mountain high, his own body disintegrating as he tries to make it back North to his Village; only to see visions of possessed GI’s with the eyes sewn shit, slicing the throats of his family members. The Other Side combines the horror theme and Vietnam war very well. There has been WW2 war stories combing the two, adapted to movies. The two movies that come to mind is ‘The Bunker’, about German soldiers holed up in a bunker with possessed spirits around them. ‘The Keep’, similar story to the Bunker, with German soldiers confront by an ancient evil demon, locked in the keep that is a German garrison. But I don’t know of any Vietnam war stories or movies that combine horror within the conflict of a war.

The Other Side would make a great movie, I wonder if the writer has considered this.

There are a lot of disturbing images in The Other Side, drawn by Cameron Stewart . The story and the art reflect the mental break down of the young Marine and North Vietnamese solider exceptionally well.

A well written and drawn comic, highly recommended. Please check my review of #3


One Response to “Feburary Comic Reviews – The Other Side #4 of 5 (Vertigo Comics)”

  1. […] is the end. What a comic. As I have explained in previous reviews of The Other Side. The writer Jason Aaron has written a horror story, within the horror of the Vietnam war. PFC […]

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