What did the
Art by RICCARDO BURCHIELLI
Cover by JOHN PAUL LEON
Size: 32 pages
I always feel a sense of loyalty to books like this, even when they seem to lose their way, because I've come so far and want to see the story through to it's end. DMZ has been meandering for a little while now. I remember the urgency and vitality of early issues, and I feel as though that youthful vitality has been lost for a while now as the title seems to tread water. Having said all that though this latest issue is a real return to form.
Matty makes his way out of the DMZ and delivers himself to US authorities, suffering from the guilt of his participation in the illegal shooting a few issues back. The bulk of the story is Matty confessing to his father and it's an excellent character piece about the hazy moral compromises endemic in war. Then the US offers him immunity from prosecution if he agrees to go back to the DMZ as a United Nations observer while they retaliate for the nuclear detonation. Matty takes the job, but in a way that gives him the chance to realign his moral compass. By the end he's back in the DMZ and it feels like the series has kickstarted itself again. Wood has found a way to refresh the story, setting himself up for some big developments and potentially a natural ending point to boot.
On the art chores, Burchielli is never less than amazing. He's got that natural flow, producing detailed but never crowded scenes. His broken down NYC is a beauty to behold, but he's just as brilliant at the talking head scenes too. He's paired perfectly with the washed out colour work of Jeremy Cox. Oh, and John Paul Leon turns in an exceptional cover that references the real life flag draped coffins of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This story, and this issue in particular, have reenergised my enthusiasm as a reader of this title. I hope it doesn't go on forever as I don't think the story has the longevity of Vertigo books like Hellblazer. DMZ has the feel of a finite story because, after all, all wars ought to have a ceasefire in the end. Still, Wood has brought things back on track nicely and pointed himself in the right direction for that end point whenever it might come.
Art: 4 - Very Good