Apache Delivery Service #1 Review

Writer: Matt Kindt

Art: Tyler Jenkins and Hilary Jenkins

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

Price: $3.99

Release Date: January 5th, 2022

Apache Delivery Service #1
brings Matt Kindt’s subversively creepy writing style to the Vietnam War in 1967, and a young soldier called Apache.

If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any others that were mentioned then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon.

The Story

There are countless mysteries in Apache Delivery Service #1, with the biggest being Apache’s real name.  We never get his name anywhere in this first issue, though he does tell his commanding officer he’s Navajo, not Apache, which is totally ignored by the commander.  Also, we get flashbacks to 5 years ago, when Apache is on one of his first hunts with a man who could be his father or a friend. Something that isn’t a mystery is how adept Apache is at navigating the jungle and rooting out Viet Cong.

I’ve never been a fan of war comics, especially Vietnam War comics, though writers like Robert Kanigher and Larry Hama could hammer out issue after issue of blazing war action and make each issue feel unique.   I didn’t feel that with this comic, it just seemed to be a rehash of clichéd ideas we’ve seen in a hundred other comics and films.  There’s even the one psycho soldier in Apache’s squadron who likes to keep “souvenirs” of the Viet Cong he’s killed.  How many times have we seen that in war films?  Even the brief Vietnam scenes in “Forrest Gump” seem fresher than what we get here.

The second half of the issue is a little better, and seems to set up an “Apocalypse Now” style journey for the next issue, which should be far more interesting.  If Matt Kindt and Tyler Jenkins can even remotely capture the smothering paranoia and feverish horror of the Vietnamese jungles like “Apocalypse Now” did, I’ll be a lifelong fan of this book.  But for now, Apache just doesn’t interest me, because he’s given no depth and no personality.  And no name!   Yes, he’s a loner, but so was Rambo, and Rambo had personality to burn.  Hell, even Chuck Norris’s character Colonel James Braddock in “Missing in Action” had you caring about him and rooting for him before the film even got to the halfway point, and the “Missing in Action” scriptwriters weren’t exactly Ernest Hemingway.

The Art

Tyler Jenkins’ art on Apache Delivery Service #1 is an acquired taste, I suppose.  His figures are very sketchy, some look almost incomplete.  On the first page, Apache’s face is barely recognizable.

He draws the jungles of Vietnam a bit better, though in one panel, as Apache stands in a clearing looking out on the jungle, it looks more like a shot from a Western.  I had flashbacks to John Wayne standing in a doorway at the end of “The Searchers”, looking out on the vast prairie and mountains before him, before I realized we’re supposed to be in Vietnam.

His style is unique, but I don’t feel like it’s a good fit for this book.

Final Thoughts

Apache Delivery Service #1 is a mundane beginning to what I hope will be a much better series in issues to come.  If you absolutely have to read a Vietnam-themed comic this month, pick it up.  Otherwise, you may want to wait for the next issue.


Leave a Reply