Pro-War Comics

Super Green Beret #1

Super Green Beret #1

Super Green Beret #2

Super Green Beret #2

The pro-war comics published during the Vietnam War offer an interesting take on the war and those who served overseas. In 1967, Lightning Comics published Tod Holton: Super Green Beret. This story follows the military service of a soldier who becomes superhuman after he puts on his magic beret. The story centers around a powerful American soldier fighting against evil and who kept the world safe from communism. The storyline follows the same threads as the media of WWII, as the comics include racialize depictions of the Vietnamese similar to those used against Japanese people, and the American is shown as the ultimate hero, as a handsome model American. The racial stereotypes of Asian people in this comic links it to a form of propaganda preying on the otherness of the enemy. The cover of Tod Holton #1 reveals some of the most racialized imagery of the Vietnamese people to come out of Vietnam War era comics. The cover shows Vietnamese people with racialized eyes, ape-like features and wearing the hats reminiscent of the rice farmers in Asia.

The interesting thing that happens in this comic is that the hero, through his magic beret, has the ability to travel through time. In the second issue of the comic, Tod Holton travels back in time to prevent Hitler from escaping Germany. In this way, the comic is consciously linking the military action occurring in Vietnam to those that occurred in history, evoking the romanticism and honor that the other military engagements throughout history carries to Americans and applying it to Vietnam.

Notice the faces of both the hero character and the enemies on the cover. this is typical of the pro war comics that depict the idealized, square-jawed American soldier and the asiatic enemies. The features and depictions of the Veitnamese people in these covers are drawn with excentuated asian features and clothing that identify them as civilian combatants. 

The book claimed to cover true combat action from the Special Forces throughout Vietnam and used fictionalized stories of the hero in different American wars to show the moral superiority and ultimate good that the U.S. military stood for. 

Pro-War Comics