Wednesday, November 09, 2005

This Comic Was Unsurprisingly Good - DMZ #1

I know a lot of folks have been looking forward to DMZ, and after reading #1, you can see why. DMZ #1 was not only a good comic (it was), but it was also an excellent entrance into the world of DMZ, making the reader comfortable with not just enjoying this issue, but with enjoying the series as a whole.

The first two pages of DMZ are a total info dump, which I will convey to you, as well. The basic concept is that there has been a Civil War in the near future, with New Jersey (and maybe some others, we will find out later, I guess) essentially seceding from the United States of America. Queens and Brooklyn now represent the end of the United States of America.

Manhattan is between them as, you guessed it, the DMZ.

There are about 400,000 people left in Manhattan, and this series depicts the lives of these folk. In many ways, it is a modern look at the stories you see in Kamandi or Atomic Knights. Or, to a lesser extent, like the world that Yorick encounters in Y The Last Man. Manhattan retains all the familiar landmarks, it is just a No Man's Land. Sorta like what Gotham City would be like if No Man's Land ACTUALLY happened.

And Matt Roth is stuck in it.

Roth is an intern who gets a chance to be a part of an extraordinary journalism piece, due to his father's connections. After a series of problems, Matt is now alone in the DMZ. The more time he spends in the DMZ, the more that the lies of what it is supposed to be like are stripped away. His conception of the DMZ is like an onion, and what the DMZ ACTUALLY is is like the center of the onion. Each lie is pulling a strand off of the onion until ultimately, you reach the center, the truth of the situation.

While his brutal awakening that the world is not exactly as the government has told him is interesting, but that is only good for a little while, as there is only so long that you can use the whole "wide-eyed kid learns the truth" routine. No, the key to this series is just the DMZ iteslf (which, I guess, is why it is the name of the book...hehe). Just exploring the stretch of land that was once a bustling metropolis, and is still home to almost a half a million people is more than enough material for an ongoing series, and explore it is exactly what Wood seems ready to do.

And as we have seen from works like Demo (and soon, Local), if there's one type of work that Brian Wood can do, it is introduce new characters and give us interesting glimpses into their lives. In Demo, he did this withOUT the automatic conversation piece that is living in No Man's Land, so I can only imagine how well it will happen in this series.

As for the art, Riccardo Burchielli does a good Alberto Dose/Eduardo Risso style of art. It suits the story well.

DMZ #1 was a good comic.

DMZ is a good comic.

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Blogger joncormier said...

I've been excited and intreagued by this book since I first saw the previews. Really can't wait to check it out.

11/09/2005 10:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Matt said...

Thanks for the review. I actually hadn't heard much about this book, but this review (and the excerpt from Vertigo) definitely pushed me over the edge.

Thanks, man.

11/09/2005 06:27:00 PM  
Blogger Spencer Carnage said...

This comic was boring. My comic shop did such a hard job of getting me to NOT want for the trade, that I'm actually glad I bought it, so I know not to waste the $15+ on the trade. I wanted to like this, but the lame characters coupled with the faux woah shit moments didn't do a damn thing for me.

11/10/2005 01:59:00 PM  

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