Vietnam is a U.S. state in the Southeast Asian Indochinese Peninsula. It was admitted as the 51st state of the United States in October 1985.
In 1971, the Comedian and his battalion of 'Blazin’ Commandos’ burned down Bian My's village outside of My Lai (the site of the famous massacre).
The war was won by the USA, largely due to the deployment of Operation: Wrath of God. The Comedian was there for an undetermined amount of time working for the government and Dr. Manhattan was used as a strategic weapon since March 1971; the conflict was ended in only two months. Many of the communist forces expressed their desire to surrender to Manhattan personally, seeing him as some sort of deity.
Marcus Abar was a U.S. Army serviceman who fought against the North Vietnamese forces. He and many other soldiers would spend the rest of their lives in Vietnam following the defeat of the Vietcong thanks to the strategic advantage of Dr. Manhattan.
On the night of the declaration of the United States victory in the war, Nixon arrives on a helicopter. The Comedian drunkenly shoots and kills a young Vietnamese woman whom he has impregnated when she attacks him with a bottle, cutting his face. He notes that Dr. Manhattan could easily have prevented his crime by changing the physical matter involved (the Comedian's pistol) or that he could have teleported either of them out of danger.
In 1978, Vietnam’s statehood was approved by Congress and was officially declared a state on October 1985
In October 1985 the New York Times had the headline "Vietnam 51st State: Official!". A piece of graffiti saying "Viet Bronx" is found outside Happy Harry's, apparently written by a gang that identifies or sympathizes with the Vietnamese people.
In June 1987 Angela Abar would attempt to purchase the blaxploitation movie "Sister Night" from a video store in Saigon. Her father Marcus told her to return the movie due to it being inappropriate for her age and for disproving of masked vigilantes. Right as this happened, a puppeteer with one eye handed a backpack to a young man on a bicycle. This young man would then leap at a group of U.S. Army servicemen near to where Angela's parents stood. The backpack would detonate and the explosion kills all the soldiers including Angela's parents, leaving her an orphan. Presumably, these two men were part of the Vietnamese Liberation Front and possibly former Communist Viet Cong.
Sometime after this incident, Angela Abar would be brought by Saigon Police officers, Jan and Roy, to confirm they arrested the one-eyed man. Angela confirmed yes, recognizing him as the puppeteer from that day. Jan would be impressed by Angela's bravery and gives her a Saigon Police badge as a memento and told her to one day find her and join the police when she grew up. This action would eventually lead to Angela becoming a police officer much like her grandfather, Will Reeves.
At a further point later, Angela would be visited by her grandmother, June Abar, who traveled all the way from Tulsa, Oklahoma upon hearing about her son's death and to bring her back to the United States. However, June would die of a heart attack on the way to the airport thus once again leaving Angela an orphan. She would grow up and live in Saigon up until 2009, being raised alongside other orphans (all of them Native Vietnamese descent) in an all-girls home.
In June 2009 on the twenty-second anniversary of the deaths of her parents, Angela Abar would be visited in a bar by Dr. Manhattan who had just left Europa. He stated to Angela his identity and that he was in love with her leading to a conversation which for Dr. Manhattan took place across time - to the day after, two weeks later, fifty years prior to 1960, seventy years prior to 1931, six months later, and ten years later in 2019. Although Angela maintained disbelief that he was indeed Dr. Manhattan, Angela would agree to go out to dinner with him the next day, thus beginning their ten-year relationship.
Angela would, two weeks after meeting Dr. Manhattan and dating him, come up with the plan for him to take the identity of a deceased person with no next of kin. This was in order for Angela to date Jon out in the open where they lived in Saigon. Jon and Angela would both choose the recently deceased Calvin Jelani as his new form and resume their relationship for the next six months until the two had a fight. After this, Dr. Manhattan would go to Antarctica to pay a visit to Adrian Veidt who devised a solution for Manhattan to become mortal with a tachyon ring which could grant him amnesia. This was done after he returned back to Angela and from there, Dr. Manhattan fully took on the identity of Calvin Abar with no memory of his true past.
After this, Angela and "Calvin" would officially marry in Saigon. Then - in order to rebuild a new life together and to fulfill June's wish to have her whole family back in their ancestral home - both Angela and Calvin Abar moved from Saigon to Tulsa, Oklahoma, leaving Vietnam behind.
In 2017, Ronnie Ngo Dinh, then the governor of Vietnam, caused an international incident by claiming that the Vietnamese Liberation Front had assassinated Adrian Veidt as an act of terror against the United States. He used the assertion to justify an escalation of actions against VLF militants. The ensuing police actions resulted in hundreds of civilian deaths and condemnation from nations who’ve expressed support for the “Free Vietnam” movement, including the United Kingdom and China.
- In actual history, the United States withdrew its forces in 1975 at the end of a prolonged conflict. Subsequently, its ally, South Vietnam, fell to the Communist forces of North Vietnam.
- The Country of Vietnam plays a large role in the HBO TV series, with several characters including main protagonist Angela Abar and Lady Trieu being from the country. However, Vietnam is mostly seen in flashbacks much like the original comic.
- From its status as a conquered former sovereign land with a rich history, rich cultural and ethnic groups, and being turned into a U.S. state, Vietnam in the Watchmen Universe greatly parallels the U.S. State of Hawaii. It too was formerly a sovereign nation with its own monarchy and even diplomats which traveled the globe but was taken over initially by white Hawaiians (descendants of Christian missionaries) before being handed over to the United States Navy and officially taken over.
- The medical report of Calvin Abar even somewhat references this similarity. In real life on the official U.S. census' of race and ethnicity, one category is "Native Hawaiian" to refer to an aboriginal ethnic group within the United States. On Calvin's medical report it is shown one distinct category of ethnicity is "Native Vietnamese", worded similarly to real-world U.S. census'.
- Much of Vietnam as shown in the Watchmen TV Series, however, is simply its capital Saigon.
- The use of Saigon as it's official name is distinct and deliberate for the Watchmen universe. In reality, after the Fall of Saigon and the retreat of U.S. Forces from South Vietnam, the country was unified and taken over by the Communists led by Ho Chi Minh. Thus the city was renamed to "Ho Chi Minh City". Unofficially in real life, it is still referred to Saigon both domestically and internationally - especially by the Vietnamese diaspora. As Vietnam was conquered and defeated in the Vietnam War by the United States in the Watchmen universe, it is natural that it would retain its original name.