1.13.10 Reviews (Part 1)

DMZ #49 (DC/Vertigo): It’s hard to believe that at my age, considering the volume of pop culture consumables I take down, considering the real life emergency and crisis management situations I’ve been involved in professionally, that the image on a comic book cover could actually literally give me chills down my spine. I saw that Brian Wood tweeted the actual, not redacted, cover image this morning, and I carefully avoided it so I could get the thrill of walking up on it cold at the LCS. I guess the cat’s run screaming out of the proverbial bag at this point, so no need to worry about spoilers, let’s get to it then… The thing I loved the most about this issue was that Brian Wood follows an old writer’s technique of putting your characters in the situations they’d least like to be in, in order to create the most dramatic storytelling tension. Matty Roth works himself into a corner where he’s just taking it from all sides and completely alone. His kill order, given directly, but unspecifically, in a moment of anger, goes south. It’s not just a large party, it’s a wedding party. That makes things go from bad to worse, a crushing blow. This and other recent events render his relationship with Zee fractured, if not completely broken. And then there’s the little matter of the bomb being dropped in an attempt to neutralize the threat that Parco’s nuke is perceived as. As all hell seems to be breaking loose, we center back on Matty, who grapples with a storytelling theme that Wood uses in many of his works, the notion of identity. He’s struggling to define himself in a logical and ordered way, in an environment that is highly illogical and chaotic. That struggle seems to have led him down this path. The minute he threw in with Parco’s camp, he stopped simply reporting the news and became a part of the news. Reading this issue, I found myself hanging on every single word, taking in every stray pencil line from Burchielli, pouring over caption boxes twice to ensure I didn’t miss any nuance, and the intensity of this tale was bleeding from the pages. Wood provides a quick examination of psychological warfare with Parco’s use of the “missing nuke” as leverage, highlighting some of the horrors of modern warfare along the way. You begin to understand how in the hot cloud of war, amid communication debacles, things like friendly fire, civilian deaths, or collateral damage can easily occur. At the end of it all, there’s a brilliant action cliffhanger, along with an emotional one as Matty becomes the ultimate persona non grata, and you begin to understand how easily one’s life, status, and sense of self-worth can slip away in a place as unpredictable and dangerous as the DMZ. Grade A+.


Post a Comment

<< Home