The Small Lebowski:
The 'Nam #68
Issue(s): The 'Nam #68
The art is an improvement over the previous Punisher Invades The Nam issues. But the story seems equally unnecessary. To be fair, i only have the middle part of a 3 part story.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: Takes place during the Vietnam War. This story is actually told by a regular character in The 'Nam series, Mike "Ice" Phillips. So for one thing it may not even necessarily be accurate. In issue #67 (which i don't have), Phillips says that these events took place on the Punisher's third day in Vietnam, which means it happened prior to the Punisher's appearance in The 'Nam #52-53. The bigger issue is about whether or not The 'Nam series is in continuity at all. To start with, this series is very firmly rooted in the actual Vietnam War, but thanks to Marvel's Sliding Timescale, the Punisher no longer participated in the real Vietnam War, just an unspecified military conflict in Southeast Asia. On top of that, The 'Nam series was not originally meant to be part of Marvel continuity, and even as late as Issue #41 it was made clear that the Marvel super-heroes were only comic book characters (i.e., not just that there is a Marvel Comics company in the Marvel universe, but that the characters do not actually exist). However, the fact that Phillips is narrating this story prevents us from simply taking these Punisher issues of The 'Nam in exclusion from the rest of the series (since he's a regular character in this series). And things are further complicated by the fact that Phillips will later appear in Punisher' regular series. The Marvel Appendix has a good summary of the complications, and proposes a solution wherein there are two Ice Phillipses, the 'Nam version and a Marvel Universe version, and that the experiences of the Marvel Universe version of Phillips are similar but not exactly the same as what happened in the 'Nam series. By contrast, the MCP just lists all 'Nam appearances of Phillips as Marvel Universe appearances (and he seems to be the only character besides the Punisher that they track). I guess i'm going with something closer to the Appendix approach since i'm only covering the Punisher issues of 'Nam (with the usual glossing over of topical references).
I'm cheating a little by listing both the Punisher and Mike 'Ice' Phillips as Characters Appearing since the Punisher portion is a flashback, with the framing sequence taking place late enough that the events of 'Nam #52-53 have already taken place. But it's not like it's going to conflict with any other Ice Phillips appearances in my project.
Continuity Insert? Y
My Reprint: N/A
The soldier telling this story, Ice Philips, appears in later Punisher stories. Incidentally, Phillips appears in other 'Nam stories, so I'm not sure if you want to count those stories as canon.
Posted by: Michael | June 23, 2016 9:10 PM
Thanks Michael. I've added some notes in the Considerations.
Posted by: fnord12 | June 25, 2016 1:42 PM
I totally disagree.to me his story is not pointless, but one of the best Punisher stories I read. And best origin, best Punisher flashback story. I loved it!!!
Garth Ennis has nothing on Dixon..
Posted by: Fragsel | November 5, 2017 10:27 AM
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