Sunday, June 12, 2011

DMZ: On the Ground - Vol. One - Review

Wood's Vision of The American Civil War Pt. 2

Brian Wood invites you to take a trip with Matty Roth into the DMZ -- the area of New York City caught between the battle of the United States of America and the Free States of America. On his journey, Matty Roth is abandoned by the Liberty News Corporation and marked for death by anyone holding a weapon. The only thing keeping him alive is his press pass and jacket, which buys him enough time to explain who he is and what he's doing there. His mission changes however, when he realizes how brutal the war actually is, and how both sides seem to be more interested in a win than in what's best for America.

Written by Brian Wood and drawn by Riccardo Burchielli, DMZ is Wood's look at a possible second American Civil War set in the greatest city in the country -- New York City. His interpretation of war and humanity in the urban landscape not only makes readers question America's position on domestic affairs, but on any war that we've engaged in during the past 50 years.

New York City looks more like a third world country than the Big Apple in DMZ, and Roth feels as if he isn't even in his own country anymore. His character development is so well written that you want to continue reading just to see him experience more of the dreary landscape and interesting people. The artwork that accompanies the story is expressive and very detailed. Burchielli really out does himself, even during scenes in which most of the background is untouched white snow.

I've reviewed later issues of DMZ, and I'm really upset that I didn't get into it earlier. These wonderful comics that were being published right under my nose have been overlooked by fans of literature for too long. If you're not reading Wood and Burchielli's work, you're really missing out on something beautiful and important to the comic book medium. It isn't a book that's about things blowing up, it's a book about people trying to pick up the pieces during and after.

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