Eugene Smith is desperate to leave Vietnam behind, and begin a new life with the woman he loves. But when a fellow Marine is brutally murdered, Eugene’s plans are thrown away, forever. All’s fair in love and war, right?
Writer Paul Allor and artist Paul Tucker with Tet #1 present an extraordinary, heartfelt story of hard-boiled crime and star-crossed romance, set at the height of the Vietnam War and the decades that followed.
A murder mystery set during the Vietnam War, and the wars lasting effects. It could have easily been a story we’ve seen time and time again, but Allor and Tucker have put together a layered first issue that’s so much more than a story that can easily be put into one column.
What Allor does for the story is give it a very human side. He presents Eugene as a soldier with layers, wanting to go home, wanting to experience the world, but really a small town person. He also has a potential wife, who sees the American dream at the end of marriage. Her big city dreams, and Eugene’s small town experiences create a dynamic that can be explored on its own. Add in the fact Eugene is dealing with the Vietnam War, and what’s clearly the Tet offensive coming, and you have a first issue that can be dissected and examined. There’s an interesting sadness to it all, especially in the scenes after the war.
Tucker’s art adds to the layers with a clean style that still somehow captures the dirt of war. There’s nothing exploitative, or what feels like a stereotype shown, and though taking place in a foreign land, it still feels familiar.
Overall, the first issue is a a fantastic start, and I look forward to checking out the second. This seems like a series that’ll be much more than I expected when all is said and done.
Story: Paul Allor Art: Paul Tucker
Story: 9 Art: 8 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy
IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review