Tet #2 (IDW)


CREDIT: IDW / Comics Experience

Rating: 4.5/5 – War, Murder & Unrequited Love Across Time…
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall

This series caught me by surprise.  In a good way.  Many of us make assumptions about comics based on any number of factors.  Just seeing the title and setting of this comic led me to think of it as another Vietnam war comic.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing.  And, for what it’s worth, this is a Vietnam war comic…but it’s so much more.

The background of the story is January 1968; there is a murder and our protagonist, Marine Lieutenant Eugene Smith, a translator working in Hue City, is assigned to work on a murder case.  The investigation is quickly derailed by the Tet Offensive.  Writer Paul Allor kept me guessing throughout the first issue.  Smith is engaged to a local girl, so we have a love story set against a back drop of war.  Allor throws in the murder investigation, escalates it with the beginning of Tet, and then adds the storyline of Eugene Smith back in the US in 1984.  Every time I thought I had a handle on where the story was going, Allor added another layer.  Issue #2 takes the story to another level adding in a gut punch to the reader’s feelings with a key reveal that I won’t spoil here.  Allor really knows how to manipulate the standard story tropes to deliver something more than I expected.

Tet isn’t just another war comic.  It’s a war story, a love story, and a mystery all told across time from 1968 to 1984.  The pieces are still being put on the board and given the change-ups that have happened already I can’t pretend to know where Allor is going with this story, but I’m excited to be taken along for the ride.  This is yet another comic that could easily fly under your radar, but don’t let it.

Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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