DMZ #62 (DC/Vertigo): [DMZ Countdown Clock™: 10 Issues Remaining] Riccardo Burchielli joins Brian Wood again as they shift the focus back to Matthew Roth and the primary narrative thrust of this epic tale. It opens with a night drop and just as Wood promised us in a conversation with Wilson a few months ago, we’re starting to see those Bradleys appearing on every street corner. Brian Wood has been careful to lace DMZ with modern political allegory, but here he kicks it old-school by using the iconic Vietnam War era demonstration chant “the whole world’s watching.” I like the way that the constant media spin is present, here with attempts at branding the name of the big final push to secure Manhattan. Matty is once again a truly embedded reporter, meeting up with a surprisingly sympathetic Commander of US Forces in Manhattan. Of course Matty is sitting on some valuable intel, but is determined to get back in observer mode and maintain some professional distance. There’s so many interesting little bits being thrown out, from the Wilson news, to the mention of Black Hawks paving the way for armored columns (eerily reminiscent of Mogadishu), and the whole time Burchielli’s pencils are driving it home. There’s a great shot of Matty mostly in silhouette with white text contained within the outline of his body. Burchielli’s pencils have a gritty realism to them and are so honest emotionally. I tell you, that surprise appearance at the end and his last line made me laugh. It wasn’t funny though, it was nervous laughter. Grade A.
Uncanny X-Force #5 (Marvel): Esad Ribic fills in for Jerome Opena and joins Rick Remender for the start of the second arc entitled Deathlok Nation, but apes Opena’s style pretty convincingly. It’s less sinewy and detailed, with a little more blocky Mignola influence, and not inked quite as dark, but otherwise provides a decent fill in. Remender begins to address the emotional fallout of Fantomex killing young Apocalypse. We see Fantomex in a mysterious lab dealing with zombified super-soldiers of the future. It’s a solemn monologue about the nature of tampering with evolution and creationism. Deadpool is surprisingly trying to be the reasonable one in the group, addressing his feelings about killing a child head on and not sublimating them. He proves he’s not just the “merc with a mouth.” Yeah, we do get some action with the zombified assassin versions of Cap, Cyke, Thing, Elektra, Spidey, and Hawkeye, but Remender provides the type of character development for these two loose cannons that’s largely missing from the machinations of the X-universe. Uncanny X-Force continues to surprise and entertain. Grade B +.