4.01.2008

Graphic Novel Of The Month

DMZ: Volume 4: Friendly Fire (DC/Vertigo): This month, I’d like you all to check out the latest edition of Brian Wood and Riccardo Burchielli’s future American Civil War epic, DMZ. In this arc, embedded journalist Matty Roth investigates a shooting and is able to recreate the sequence of events based on the alternating POV of many different participants. It’s a bit reminiscent of the under-rated film Courage Under Fire, in which Denzel Washington investigates a posthumous military award for a female helicopter pilot in the first Gulf War. The story, which can almost be read as a self-contained mystery, really drives the point home that people’s perception of events is on a continuum, and can be based on truth, desires, or even outright lies. Nevertheless, recollection and portrayal of a traumatic incident is largely shaped by the person telling the story. You can push this line of thought further and ask the question does the act of observing something change the inherit pattern being observed, but I’d rather just focus on the rich quality of Wood’s writing and graphic depiction that Burchielli’s lines bring to this harrowing tale of a Civil War fought right here in the streets of New York City. Grade A.

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