Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Vertigo Comics (DC Comics)
Wood & Burchielli
As the final few issues of the series gets underway, this issue ends the arc entitled, “Free States Rising” with an unexpected twist. As usual, Wood puts Matty in a spot where readers could be divided about whether or not he’s a decent person in a bad situation or just another wheel in the machine that probably deserves a bad ending. He clearly isn’t a hero but that doesn’t mean he isn’t put into positions where he makes decisions that manage to save lives.
The issue boils down to one event – the tribunal of Parco. Parco speaks openly about what’s done and what he has not done. Of course the question about the nuke he purchased comes up and the issues of trust and the believability of lies come out into the foreground. Matty holds the truth (presumably) in his hands and isn’t sure what to do with it. So he seeks some council.
Matty finds Zee and they discuss the Parco issue. This reunion is awkward, as you’d expect, but it’s also a good look at to how untrustworthy and disliked Matty has become. In some ways, it’s a wonder Zee would even talk with him the two minutes she gives him. Zee may be the only likeable character in this series from a protagonist perspective.
The issue ends with a very realistic twist that will cater towards conspiracy theorists very nicely. At this point there isn’t one character that seems to be willing to play anything straight. The only aspect of the ending that seems out of whack is the sit-down meeting that Matty gets to have where he makes his demands. It just seems like the person in that much control wouldn’t put up with Matty and his nonsense. Still it was an eye-opening ending.
The artwork is excellent. There is a sequence during a narrative by Matty where some prisoners are down on their knees at gun point and one sneaks out a pin of a grenade. The sequence is one of the most powerful of the series. However, the ending may just top that when we watch the final moves of this arc. It’s a brilliant art display that raises the level of the story that Wood is telling.
DMZ is a comic book that doesn’t deal with anything in a straightforward manner. Characters you like end up letting you down and assumptions you make end up being fake. Deals are made to save mass murderers in the hopes of saving lives down the road and yet still many, many characters die. The comic book is complex and very entertaining. I have no idea how this will all end but I can tell you that based on this issue I would say anything is possible.
4 out of 5 Geek Goggles