How Junkyard Joe Honors Veterans Through Comics

How Junkyard Joe Honors Veterans Through Comics

Strange and unlikely heroes have fallen or raised their identities throughout history and live a secret. Their stories of brotherhood and sacrifice in unknown wars are usually told in comics. Junkyard Joe is a blueprint of numerous ways to honor veterans via comics through a harrowing and honest portrayal of war.

How the Comic Rediscover Humanity from the Wreckage

Bestselling creative team Gary Frank and Geoff Johns have worked together in the past, with the Geiger comic series being one of the projects. The world of the unnamed explores the life of Junkyard Joe, the character that initially appears in the Geiger issues. Junkyard Joe is a story that digs deep into the horrors of war, what it means to have human nature, and the impact of trauma.

The Story Setting Is Vietnam

Junkyard Joe revisits the events that happened during the Vietnam War’s end. A group of soldiers (Junkyard Dogs) prepare for a mission with a new soldier called Joe. Joe plays a crucial role in protecting the unit from attacks and is revealed to be some sort of robot due to his capabilities. Joe and the lone human survivor (Muddy Davis) write the full fate of the unit without mentioning what Joe’s mission was during the Vietnam War. The final comic page depicts the future where Muddy gets haunted by the robot soldier he’s told didn’t exist and his platoon’s fate.

Everything Works in the Comic Book

Junkyard Joe’s story succeeds in balancing the surreal nature of placing a robot soldier into a documented event without losing the weight of the overall experience. The issue has excellent art conveying emotions and experiences of service and war in the faces of the Brad Anderson and Frank characters. Muddy Davis depicts a full range of feelings (fear, reservation, longing, and determination) and the richness of humanity. There are instances where readers get real glimpses of how young most soldiers are. The play also has a fair amount of blood that gets spilled, but it’s unflinching and honest.

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The Comic Is Easy to Read

Junkyard Joe is an easy-to-read play, and that attribute makes it popular among comic book readers. The unflinching, mature, and graphic issues prompt readers to introspect themselves and get inside Joe and Muddy’s heads. The play doesn’t dwell too long on the setting as future issues are discussed, providing readers with a break from the immediate hell associated with war.

The comic also honors veterans in the listed ways:

It Depicts War Horrors Realistically

Junkyard Joe depicts war horrors in a vivid approach. The approach enables fans to experience the nightmare associated with combat firsthand. By the end of the play, Joe and Muddy remain the only surviving unit members. Muddy is seen lying on the ground during the war and questions why the unit was sent to die in the war. The admission reflects the helplessness most young soldiers feel during combat. War is a cruel and unpredictable beast, and the comic highlights the cruel carnage of war.


It Portrays the Story of a Soldier’s Hope

The comic throws readers into the Vietnam War and forces them to devise survival tactics. Muddy Davis is the protagonist and serves as a new draftee who has digital the-best-talent-is-bringing-out-talent-in-others great talent for drawing cartoons. Unlike other unit members, Muddy spends most of the time obsessing about his future by drawing bride-to-be cartoons and writing love letters. Most unit members shrug off the youthful exuberance that Muddy depicts, but Junkyard Joe usually takes note of the gift.


Muddy establishes a close friendship with Joe in the long run and shares plans to run a family farm once the war ends. Muddy’s hope strengthens him during a dogfight, but Joe is helpful in the long run. Junkyard Joe slaughters the enemies who injure Muddy after a surprise attack. The action fuels Junkyard Joe’s heroism and the need to protect humanity at all costs, regardless of their status. 

The loss of hope and humanity is common among veterans of war. The Junkyard Joe comic is a story of hope that, regardless of how far away it seems, will come to pass.


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