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DMZ #70

Only three issues of DMZ left!

As Matty continues his tour of the recovering and the rebuilding of New York City, the secret he’s carrying around can’t be held in any longer. He confides in Zee, just days before his life will change forever. Will he ever see the city again?

Written by BRIAN WOOD

Price: $2.99
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 0.0%


  1. Sad how little attention this book gets. Hopefully it gets more due once it’s all done and in collected form.

    • I was just thinking about this the other day. I mean, has this book ever even caught a wiff of an Eisner nomination? I’m glad to have collected this in single issues. My nephews will enjoy reading it one day I like to think.

  2. This book has been pretty goog throughout its run but this last arc has been a major let down. Out with a whimper…

    • I don’t entirely disagree, but am waiting for the final issue to render a final judgment. Fast-forwarding the clock was an interesting but unexpected choice. As complex as cease-fires and peace settlements are in real life can we reasonably expect Wood to have wrapped this up with a neat little bow?

    • Yeah that’s a good point but I’m not even really talking about the complexities of the cease-fire. I guess my major complaint is the tried and true method of revisiting all the old characters. It feels kind of cliche and just isn’t doing anything for me so far. I don’t really feel like I have any idea what the DMZ looks like post-war, Zee has become very annoying by her total lack of growth as a character over the series, and most of the characters we are revisiting (Soames, Wilson) we have seen not that long ago in recent arcs and these new visits aren’t offering much in the way of new revelations. Also this new hidden problem of Matty’s that has just come out of the blue to add some level on tension also just feels tired and cliche to me. I am reserving overall judgement on the arc until I’ve read the last issue but it has a lot of work to do to impress me.

      Regardless, thought this book has had its highs and low, it has been an overall great read over the last 6 years.

    • Interesting …

      I was disappointed that Wilson died, but the revelation that he considered Matty one of his best (only?) friends meant something in terms of Matty’s recent history. Zee’s character development has been situated more in her back-story, although the revelation that she’d been keeping all of Matty’s material was intriguing. You’re right though … we’ve seen them come full circle, but haven’t really seen her develop. I’m curious. If you thought of the city itself as a character (perhaps even the central character), how would you read its development?

    • Yeah that’s a really good point. Looking at the city as the central character does give the series a different perspective. In that regard this arc has been very interesting. I know people talk about the city as the main character a lot in regard to this series, and in some ways it is, but it is the people, Matty, Parco, Wilson, Kelly, that have always made me continue to buy his book. So in regards to the city this arc has been very satisfying so far, but in regards to the characters I have been left a little wanting.

      Also bear in mind I haven’t had a chance to read this issue yet so all this is said before knowing what happens this month.

  3. As I recall, this “problem” that Matty has isn’t just out of the blue. I can trace it back to the end of “M.I.A.” where he seems to hint at trouble ahead when he voluntarily gives up immunity from prosecution, and he’s a guy that just sold a nuclear weapon that went off inside the US. That’s gotta be the thing that’s gonna come back around. At the start of this final arc, he asks those Secret Service-type guys to give him two weeks and then he’ll cooperate…

    • To me M.I.A. is only one arc ago in terms of Matty’s story. It might be close to a year ago in real time but both Collective Punishment and Free States Rising had nothing to do with Matty so they really don’t count in furthering his story. So really this problem was only mentioned 4 or maybe 5 Matty issues ago at the most. That conversation with the SS guys is exactly the one I’m talking about. Plus I thought they already dealt with the nuclear bomb. When he helped bring in Parco and the Free States leader, that brought evidence to light Matty had nothing to do with the detenation of the bomb. Considering how this series has never really pulled a fast one before, suddenly mentioning something in one panel of conversation that it is implied will have huge consequences on a character is pretty out of the blue…

  4. Matty “dealt” with the nuclear bomb only in that he cut a deal with the President to keep the dirty secret a secret, in the interests of peace and to help Parco. The issue is NOT settled… someone has to take the blame, publicly, and regardless of who detonated it, Matty’s the one who bought it and delivered it to the “enemy”. That right there is a crime, isn’t it? Like, many many crimes, including treason, I bet. Accessory to mass murder, terrorism, war crimes? There’s also the men he ordered killed in #49, as well as a whole host of other crimes along the way.

    I agree that all this started relatively late in the story – the start of the third act – but its far from abrupt or “fast”. Matty gave up amnesty for these crimes back in, what, issue 54, and since issue 66 has been dropping hint after hint that bad news is looming on the horizon. He’s packed up his stuff, shipped it off, is doing this farewell tour of sorts, and told Zee about it (but not the reader, tho). If anything I think Wood is reminding us too often, hitting that note over and over.

    But as is often the case with you and me, I see more in these stories than you tend to. I’m either inventing all of this or you are reading too fast! 🙂

    BTW, “M.I.A” is two arcs ago: MIA, (skipping the Matty part of Collective Punishment), Free States Rising, now Five Nations.

    • I dunno, I’m guessing its not the nuclear bomb. If it was that why make it a ‘secret’ from the reader? We already know all about what happened with the bomb. If it is the bomb I’ll be a little let down because it seems like Wood is making that a ‘secret’ just to try an add an air of suspense. Clearly Matty has to pay for that crime, but if that is all this is why act like he can’t ‘tell’ the reader when we have already seen that play out in previous issues. If it isn’t the bomb then it also seems like creating a new problem out of the blue. Also considering there are only what, 2 issues left, this is much later than the ‘start of the third act.’ This should be the climax and it feels, so far, a little anti-climactic.

      Either way I’m reserving judgement until the final issue in December.

      As to our ongoing debate, I just think Wood is less subtle than you give him credit for. Either way he writes enjoyable stories and our disagreements create spirited debate! Also I have totally reversed my opinion on the final Northlanders arc. After really disliking the first issue I am now totally enthralled with that story.

    • I think Matty’s arrest is going to be more nebulous than just the bomb or this or that. In that last page, they paint him as a war criminal & a terrorist. His war crimes can be seen as pretty extensive, but a terrorist? That sounds more like he agreed to play the scapegoat for the U.S. gov’t (which seems like there always needs to be one for people to get past something this long & violent) in return for the leniencies we’ve seen given to him in this arc.

      I’m with @north72, the arrest seemed to be pending/looming over the last few Matty arcs – not an “oh shit” surprise moment here, but more of a bold ending panel, a kind of closure in its own right. Sort of his “good-bye” to the city.

      I do like how in this issue & that one where Zee comes back (can’t remember the issue #), we get this very different & outside perspective of Matty – either as a closed-off asshole or as a war criminal – which is very jolting, since most of the series (with Matty in it) was very much from his point-of-view.

      I think this arc may read better as a trade or all at once. Feels more like one linear narrative broken up because of page counts, not because of story beats. So yeah, those last two issues will make or break it. Great series either way though.

    • OK … so parts of this issue just don’t make sense to me. I can see how this is a final act designed to draw Matty’s arc to a close, but …

      Crimes against humanity? That is a phrase specific to international law … Geneva Convention I believe. It only applies to STATES. At best, Matty could be considered a domestic terrorist. And that is questionable, in my view, since the country theoretically has just undergone a civil war. The United States certainly didn’t “defeat” the Free States militarily in any sense, so the cease fire has to be a negotiated settlement. Did Matty piss off the Free States leadership at some point to such an extent that they’d throw him under the bus like this? In any event, why he hasn’t been charged with treason I don’t understand … or maybe he was and I missed something. Matty wouldn’t just walk into the lion’s den without an ace up his sleeve. The reality is that the “United States” has behaved as abominably throughout as the Free States, the militias, Parco Nation or any other faction. They have no legitimate moral authority to “try” Matty for any crimes. They can claim that they do, but their supposed credibility is bunk. I have to believe there is some kind of a twist coming. Maybe they will try him and execute him and then his book will be published hanging the United States’ dirty linen out to dry.

      And I was thinking again about Zee, in context with another earlier discussion about her character development … if we think of the city as a itself a character and see her as a mouthpiece of sorts for the city, then her “development” is wrapped up with the story of the city. The city is changing and she’s leaving, because she is a kind of metaphor for what the city has been throughout the course of the last 72 issues. Don’t know if that makes sense or not.

      Overall, notwithstanding my questions about the specificity of whatever crimes Matty is being charged with, this feels to me so far like a satisfying conclusion.

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