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Matty Roth, aspiring photojournalist, continues his one-man mission to report on the war behind the war-the struggle of the civilians caught in this no-man's-land during the Second American Civil War. In PUBLIC WORKS, he's gone deep undercover, posing as an unskilled worker to infiltrate the ranks of Trustwell, Inc., the winner of a lucrative no-bid contract to rebuild Manh Matty Roth, aspiring photojournalist, continues his one-man mission to report on the war behind the war-the struggle of the civilians caught in this no-man's-land during the Second American Civil War. In PUBLIC WORKS, he's gone deep undercover, posing as an unskilled worker to infiltrate the ranks of Trustwell, Inc., the winner of a lucrative no-bid contract to rebuild Manhattan. Of course he suspects there is more to the situation than meets the eye, but is he prepared for exactly what he might find...or how far he needs to go to find it? Collects DMZ #13-#17.


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Matty Roth, aspiring photojournalist, continues his one-man mission to report on the war behind the war-the struggle of the civilians caught in this no-man's-land during the Second American Civil War. In PUBLIC WORKS, he's gone deep undercover, posing as an unskilled worker to infiltrate the ranks of Trustwell, Inc., the winner of a lucrative no-bid contract to rebuild Manh Matty Roth, aspiring photojournalist, continues his one-man mission to report on the war behind the war-the struggle of the civilians caught in this no-man's-land during the Second American Civil War. In PUBLIC WORKS, he's gone deep undercover, posing as an unskilled worker to infiltrate the ranks of Trustwell, Inc., the winner of a lucrative no-bid contract to rebuild Manhattan. Of course he suspects there is more to the situation than meets the eye, but is he prepared for exactly what he might find...or how far he needs to go to find it? Collects DMZ #13-#17.

30 review for DMZ, Vol. 3: Public Works

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jan Philipzig

    I don’t know, every single Brian Wood comic book seems to be about some kind of young, tough, sexy, street-smart hipster who looks very cool in a gritty world. Why the world is such a gritty place never seems to matter much, it’s just background designed to make our young hipster look as tough and sexy and cool as possible. In the case of DMZ, young, buff, independent hipster reporter Matty (who has sex with a sexy media chick named Zee) looks very tough and cool and sexy amidst the ruins of a ci I don’t know, every single Brian Wood comic book seems to be about some kind of young, tough, sexy, street-smart hipster who looks very cool in a gritty world. Why the world is such a gritty place never seems to matter much, it’s just background designed to make our young hipster look as tough and sexy and cool as possible. In the case of DMZ, young, buff, independent hipster reporter Matty (who has sex with a sexy media chick named Zee) looks very tough and cool and sexy amidst the ruins of a civil war. There are suicide bombers on every corner, terrorist cells, a corrupt private military contractor (read: Blackwater) is moving in, there is torture... and yet I still have no clue what this gritty civil war is supposed to be all about. I mean, I mostly agree with the official politics of DMZ (with its critique of the U.S. government's growing dependence on private companies to wage war, for example, not so much with its underlying ageist, lookist, racist and sexist tendencies), but everything feels so contrived and shallow that I’m finding it really hard to cheer for Matty.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    This is a big step back for a series I was really starting to like. Brian Wood mines recent current events to try and squeeze a story about a Blackwater-like privateer called Trustwell into his series about a future American Civil War. Journalist Matty Roth goes undercover to infiltrate a terrorist cell and in turn exposes one of the most rickety, head-slapper plot contrivances I’ve come across in quite some time. It stretches the bounds of credulity (within the logical confines of this series) This is a big step back for a series I was really starting to like. Brian Wood mines recent current events to try and squeeze a story about a Blackwater-like privateer called Trustwell into his series about a future American Civil War. Journalist Matty Roth goes undercover to infiltrate a terrorist cell and in turn exposes one of the most rickety, head-slapper plot contrivances I’ve come across in quite some time. It stretches the bounds of credulity (within the logical confines of this series) to the breaking point. The ending was sad and touching, but not worth reading through the dense smoke and mirror plot in order to get to it.

  3. 5 out of 5

    James DeSantis

    DMZ finally picks up steam after two good, but not great volumes, I get one I really enjoy. Matty goes deep undercover to try and find out more information about a terriost group. This chapter gets pretty dark as he has to let terrible things happen to learn more. Betrayal, sex used as a weapon, beatings, and more all occurs here and it's probably one of the more uncomfortable volumes but that was the purpose of it. I actually enjoyed the plotting in this. Nothing over the top, and a little pred DMZ finally picks up steam after two good, but not great volumes, I get one I really enjoy. Matty goes deep undercover to try and find out more information about a terriost group. This chapter gets pretty dark as he has to let terrible things happen to learn more. Betrayal, sex used as a weapon, beatings, and more all occurs here and it's probably one of the more uncomfortable volumes but that was the purpose of it. I actually enjoyed the plotting in this. Nothing over the top, and a little predictable, but somehow felt more reserved. Not as much cursing, or edgy, and I began to feel horrible for a lot of the characters. The ending hits a homerun with the feels and does a great job of showcasing freedom in a place like this. Overall, very solid, and pushed it into the great area for me. A 4 out of 5.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Wealhtheow

    A barely disguised rant about Blackwater. Matty is so buff and hardcore! He has sex with teenaged Arabs! He stands up to torture for days! Everyone thinks he is the coolest thing ever! This is racist, sexist, Islamophobic trash, and it should never have been published. Brian Wood may mouth liberal sentiments about freedom, but his writing is pretty sick.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ill D

    For all the promise of Vol. I, Vol. III follows up to the disappointing closing issue of Vol. II exposing DMZ to be just another stupid run of the mill comic. The shortcomings are multiple so I’ll try to focus on the particularly glaring ones. First, Matty is a journalist but doesn’t seem to do his job. Quite un-jounrnalist-like, he never seems to write anything. Nor do we see him searching out the next big scoop. Compared to DMZ’s obvious forerunner TransMetropolitan, Spider Jerusalem looks like For all the promise of Vol. I, Vol. III follows up to the disappointing closing issue of Vol. II exposing DMZ to be just another stupid run of the mill comic. The shortcomings are multiple so I’ll try to focus on the particularly glaring ones. First, Matty is a journalist but doesn’t seem to do his job. Quite un-jounrnalist-like, he never seems to write anything. Nor do we see him searching out the next big scoop. Compared to DMZ’s obvious forerunner TransMetropolitan, Spider Jerusalem looks like and actually acts like a journalist. With literary flair fully becoming of his visible namesake, Hunter S. Thompson, from the very first episode and throughout, as many articles are written and published as are numerous scoops sought by any means necessary. Matty might have the word PRESS emblazoned on his shirt yet this shell merely covers his vacuous character. As undeveloped as his character his, the lack of moral and ethical complexity herein matches the dilapidated bombed out landscape of post-civil-war NYC. Despite the obvious potential for philosophical conflicts Wood’s DMZ is a strangely plastic and amoral affair. Seemingly fighting for his own skin, a lack of moral compunctions leave a colorless lifestyle of emotionless promiscuity and otherwise anemic actions. Finally the phrase deux ex machina will surely light up in everyone’s brains as they read through DMZ. Arriving consistently on time, the solutions to problems are manifested almost as quickly as they are introduced. With no time for anything resembling tension to build up DMZ Vol. III is anything but a heart-pumping read. Ultimately compared to its stellar forerunner, TransMet, DMZ is nothing more than a flimsy facsimile.

  6. 5 out of 5

    J.G. Keely

    Starting a story is almost always the same: I take ideas for characters, stories, themes, and moments, and I write them down. I describe what the characters are thinking, how the unfolding plot affects them. I mark down a sequence of events, moving from one to the next, making sure each one is important, and that they all lead somewhere. I write up themes and philosophies, how they operate, and how the story relies on them. Then I sit back and sigh, because after all that work, I still haven't wr Starting a story is almost always the same: I take ideas for characters, stories, themes, and moments, and I write them down. I describe what the characters are thinking, how the unfolding plot affects them. I mark down a sequence of events, moving from one to the next, making sure each one is important, and that they all lead somewhere. I write up themes and philosophies, how they operate, and how the story relies on them. Then I sit back and sigh, because after all that work, I still haven't written a story. An outline for a plot is not a story. A series of character sketches is not a story. A thematic exploration is not a story. So I sit and I ask myself: how can I demonstrate these characters, this plot, these ideas, in scenes which are vivid, demonstrative, and effective? Therein lies the art of the writer. It is in those carefully-constructed scenes that a good story is made, because without them, all you have is an outline. It's hard not to let it break through, not to just narrate and tell the reader about all the cool ides, especially because they make you feel so excited--you want so badly to share them. And there are many, many authors who do give in to the urge, some purposefully, some incidentally. Yet it always frustrates me, as a reader, to see it. I don't want the author to tell me that two characters are close and care for each other, I want those characters to act like it--I want it to be so clear that I don't have to be told. If the relationship isn't fully realized before shit goes down, there's no fixing it retroactively. If I wanted to demonstrate a character slowly growing to think of himself as a 'native' in a strange environment, as our main character does in the titular 'DMZ', it would never cross my mind to have the character simply tell us that he feels this way, because that doesn't actually tell me anything about the character or his experience--it's just a gloss. What makes a character is not what he goes through, nor the decisions he makes, nor the moods and justifications upon which he acts, but the particular, idiomatic way in which he approaches these things. To say a character in a war betrays his commander because of jealousy is merely an outline which an author might realize on the page in a thousand very different ways. The Three Musketeers all share similar backgrounds, philosophies, goals, dress, and daily actions, yet they are very distinct characters. But it can be very hard for the author to step back from the outline and create single moments, because as authors, we already know how things turn out, and we have control over the page. It can be very difficult to step back from this all-knowing position and create a character who has only one small, limited view. I found the characters in DMZ to be too expansive, too self-aware, and too aware of their situation. They never seemed to be in conflict over misunderstandings, or due to their personal flaws, but because they were thrown against one another by events. It is a common symptom in an author who cannot get out of his own head that all the characters will be aware of their own motivations and will describe them in rational, detached terms. Not only does it give all the characters a similar cast, it causes them to sound the same, as they express the author's cool ideas and stories in the same ways, using the same rhythm and tone. And it's very frustrating because there are good ideas here, and a good plot, and good character sketches, but they are all just outlines. It is a script read aloud in one voice instead of being played upon the stage. Once more, I find myself missing in these modern Vertigo titles the strength of earlier writers, like Gaiman, Moore, Ellis, and Milligan, who could paint such a vivid scene, revealing their characters, ideas, and story to you without ever having to come out and say it. But that is the hard-won skill which sets the master author above the rest. It's clear that modern comic writers have gleaned a notion of what a 'sophisticated comic' should look like, from all the examples given to us by groundbreaking authors, and yet, actually making that comic requires something more. If the comic book 'Dark Age' of absurdly gritty comics and anti-heroes has taught us anything, it's that maturity is all in the presentation, not the content. Millar's Wanted and Willingham's Fables both demonstrate the disappointing outcome of an incompetent writer trying to ape better stylists, and while I find DMZ much more savvy than either of those ill-conceived titles, I'm still waiting to see a presentation worthy of the concept.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    This was definitely not quite a well-written as the previous two volumes of DMZ. Wood tackles the prevalance of corporate contractors in a war zone - specifically Trustwell Industries in Manhattan. Now, this is certainly a timely, pertinent subject for any exploration of war in the present, or the near future, as we've seen an enormous growth and exposure of the military-industrial complex. It's an important question to ask, which Wood does - who's running the war, the government who sponsors it This was definitely not quite a well-written as the previous two volumes of DMZ. Wood tackles the prevalance of corporate contractors in a war zone - specifically Trustwell Industries in Manhattan. Now, this is certainly a timely, pertinent subject for any exploration of war in the present, or the near future, as we've seen an enormous growth and exposure of the military-industrial complex. It's an important question to ask, which Wood does - who's running the war, the government who sponsors it, or the contractors, the private companies who actually carry it out. This is a question we should all be asking ourselves, as our government sponsors an unpopular war(and we, the people, sponsor our government, you know) that is carried out largely by companies like Blackwater. All that said, Wood does not deal with the subject very well. His exploration of this phenomenon of privatized soldiers is far too broad, far too generalized and bland and obliquely procedural. He shows the reader the horrible situation on the ground in Manhattan in only a few specific instances that don't really get at the horror and the brutality that Trustwell is apparently inflicting on the city. Otherwise, we get the story from a number of news reports that serve as counterpoint narration to other scenes - scenes of Matty figuring things out, hooking up with devastating beautiful and busty women, and in general playing the part of the heartless journalist. Matty doesn't care about the violence until it might come down on his friends. He's no hero. He might be a reflection of us, the citizens of the US, in all our lazy, groping glory, slithering around in the muck that we've created. The president of Trustwell, a top general in the US military, and the head of the UN Security Council hold a press conference outside of the bombed out shell of the UN building on the East Side. The dialogue here is extremely wooden and these characters are so wooden and obvious. The particular scene really distracts from the story, and I don't think any of the military corporations, like Trustwell, are (or would ever be) so visible as this. The grit and the violence are still there, but the great storytelling, the reality, is starting to fade from this series. Burchielli's art is still great, and I think I'm even warming to it more as the series goes on. The most menacing detail of this comic with an abundance of detail are the little shady, shaky triangles hovering far above the city in every exterior scene - bombers above, droning and lurking.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Brent

    Ok, I love that I can find Vertigo volumes at my public library, because I read this entire five issue/chapter volume/installment in one night. The future world, a dystopia, created by Wood and artist Burchielli is dark and close to our own. In this volume, the protagonist does participant observation within a corrupt military contractor. It's ok, but tortured and melodramatic rather than journalistic. The color scheme, too, is dark, and prints a little too grey, with a lot of dirty black tones: Ok, I love that I can find Vertigo volumes at my public library, because I read this entire five issue/chapter volume/installment in one night. The future world, a dystopia, created by Wood and artist Burchielli is dark and close to our own. In this volume, the protagonist does participant observation within a corrupt military contractor. It's ok, but tortured and melodramatic rather than journalistic. The color scheme, too, is dark, and prints a little too grey, with a lot of dirty black tones: noir, but somehow offbeat. On to the next installment! Mildly recommended.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Corto Maltese

    This is the first volume with a really gripping storyline. While the first two volumes were (though still enjoyable) a bit of a bumpy ride to me, this volume is easily the best written until now. My library had only the first three volumes available when I got my last bulk, but after this one I am along for the ride (wasn't so sure after the first two books). This is the first volume with a really gripping storyline. While the first two volumes were (though still enjoyable) a bit of a bumpy ride to me, this volume is easily the best written until now. My library had only the first three volumes available when I got my last bulk, but after this one I am along for the ride (wasn't so sure after the first two books).

  10. 4 out of 5

    Gavin

    The story is jacked up here from the end of Volume 2. Trustwell (A stand-in for Blackwater) is introduced here, the private military company with high connections in the US government, is given the contract to clean-up the DMZ, under the supervision of a UN peacekeeping force. Trying to get a story on Trustwell and what's really going on, Matty finds himself working undercover for them and running into all kinds of shit: terror cells, bombings, more kidnapping, beatings, torture, further manipul The story is jacked up here from the end of Volume 2. Trustwell (A stand-in for Blackwater) is introduced here, the private military company with high connections in the US government, is given the contract to clean-up the DMZ, under the supervision of a UN peacekeeping force. Trying to get a story on Trustwell and what's really going on, Matty finds himself working undercover for them and running into all kinds of shit: terror cells, bombings, more kidnapping, beatings, torture, further manipulations. Matty gets even more involved that he wants to, but there's no way to avoid it for him. He ends up making some decisions that shake things up for everyone. What's Trustwell's real mission? Are they tied in with the Free-States or the USA, or both? Where does the UN fit? Can Matty be true to his old friends and his new ones at the same time? Will anyone walk away unscathed? Or will the truth be silenced forever? This is such a strong story here, I really enjoyed it, none of the first three volumes have been weak in any way, but the base has been laid by this point and Matty is able to really dive into things, which makes for great reading. Strongly recommend this Series!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Albert

    Easily the weakest of the 3 volumes so far released. The previous 2 volumes were very good at trying to show what it must be like to live in no-man's land such as present-day Iraq through a gorgeous portrayal of a devastated New York. But here, the metaphor becomes too shrill. Don't get me wrong, I am the last person to defend the practices of military contractors such as Halliburton and Blackwater but their counterparts in "Public Works" were pure caricatures. Easily the weakest of the 3 volumes so far released. The previous 2 volumes were very good at trying to show what it must be like to live in no-man's land such as present-day Iraq through a gorgeous portrayal of a devastated New York. But here, the metaphor becomes too shrill. Don't get me wrong, I am the last person to defend the practices of military contractors such as Halliburton and Blackwater but their counterparts in "Public Works" were pure caricatures.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nick Dines

    After the high of Vol 2, a little bit back to earth with this one. I think it tries to show how easy it would be for anywhere to become a Fallujah etc, trying to get across the mindset of those who would be labelled insurgents/terrorists. Not bad, but I just didn't feel much empathy for the new characters we were introduced to. After the high of Vol 2, a little bit back to earth with this one. I think it tries to show how easy it would be for anywhere to become a Fallujah etc, trying to get across the mindset of those who would be labelled insurgents/terrorists. Not bad, but I just didn't feel much empathy for the new characters we were introduced to.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Austin Zook

    Marty goes undercover to find out more about Trustwell, the company overseeing reconstruction of New York's most famous landmarks, and ends up joining a terrorist cell funded by TW and ruining someone's life by doing the right thing. Tense, thought-provoking installment in one of the best comic series I've ever read. Marty goes undercover to find out more about Trustwell, the company overseeing reconstruction of New York's most famous landmarks, and ends up joining a terrorist cell funded by TW and ruining someone's life by doing the right thing. Tense, thought-provoking installment in one of the best comic series I've ever read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Matt Buchholz

    I'm bored of this series again. A lot of this got skimmed more than read and the art seems to getting sloppier. The setting of NY as a war-zone is still interesting, but fully fleshed out character here and there would be nice. I'm bored of this series again. A lot of this got skimmed more than read and the art seems to getting sloppier. The setting of NY as a war-zone is still interesting, but fully fleshed out character here and there would be nice.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Felicia

    Didn't LOVE this one as much as the first two. Kinda so veiled with Blackwater, I felt like the analogy was a bit too on the nose. Still a fan. Didn't LOVE this one as much as the first two. Kinda so veiled with Blackwater, I felt like the analogy was a bit too on the nose. Still a fan.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lavell

    The book has picked up a bit. There are double crosses and corporate espionage and the forging of friendships.The war is slowing down now but there are new things on the horizon.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    I dig this book. Sure, part of it's just the thrill of locations I frequently see interpreted as a war zone, but even without that, DMZ's just a smart, well done book. The premise still feels odd, that the USA wouldn't hold something a little more valuable or strategic than Long Island and New England, but once you accept Manhattan as the DMZ, Wood has a great platform to discuss the real victims of war - the people caught in between two sides who only care about themselves. And by making it USA I dig this book. Sure, part of it's just the thrill of locations I frequently see interpreted as a war zone, but even without that, DMZ's just a smart, well done book. The premise still feels odd, that the USA wouldn't hold something a little more valuable or strategic than Long Island and New England, but once you accept Manhattan as the DMZ, Wood has a great platform to discuss the real victims of war - the people caught in between two sides who only care about themselves. And by making it USA vs. USA, he avoids the trap of rah-rah or cynical politicking (most of the time). Public Works has esrtwhile journalist Matty Roth caught up in a complicated game of multinational conglomerate with too-much power in the DMZ, insurgent terrorists, and a crazy Machiavellian scheme to make money, embarrass the government, and seize control of the DMZ - except different sides want those things, and Matty's got to find the real angle, figure out how to best serve the DMZ's residents, and get the truth to the appropriate parties. Great twists, terrific art, and Wood strikes a nice balance between the political back-stabbing and the honest idealism. The would-be suicide bomber who Matty stops from exploding herself is a great counter to the duplicitous other characters who try to play Matty to their own benefit.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Robert Hudder

    Read this in close proximity to Richard Kadrey's The Grand Dark. Both ask what it means to be in a war and whether it is possible to be neutral or not a part of it. Corey Doctorow states in the forward that there is a way for the non-combatants to maintain and use their own agency. I am not sure that this volume bears him out. I see what he is saying but it isn't as if the non-combatants had no impact on the war. It still affects one side or the other. There is still a larger game being played a Read this in close proximity to Richard Kadrey's The Grand Dark. Both ask what it means to be in a war and whether it is possible to be neutral or not a part of it. Corey Doctorow states in the forward that there is a way for the non-combatants to maintain and use their own agency. I am not sure that this volume bears him out. I see what he is saying but it isn't as if the non-combatants had no impact on the war. It still affects one side or the other. There is still a larger game being played and there is only so much that can shift. Neither argue that you shouldn't try to shift it but they do disagree on how to go about it. It is like the whole argument of direct action in anarchy. This is a real question when surrounded by discussion on what to do about someone speaking at a local library about women's rights but they are trans exclusionary, or what to do about a president who is quite problematic in his views. DMZ was definitely a reaction to 9/11 but it seems as if we have not stopped the long war. I like DMZ because of its thoughtfulness. I know that many of the answers are a little too clean but it does show the cost of fighting back. It is ambivalent at times and angry at other times. A good place to be when trying to be an engaged citizen.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Cale

    This volume ups the action in the series, as Matty goes undercover with a Blackstone analog to attempt to uncover their corruption at a level that actually evokes a reaction. It's a tough read, with suicide bombers, assassination attempts, and some truly messed up allegiances that play out to a level that is horrifying, especially if one considers it might be based on reality. It also introduces some new characters, like Amina, who is a surprisingly nuanced character, contrary to her first appea This volume ups the action in the series, as Matty goes undercover with a Blackstone analog to attempt to uncover their corruption at a level that actually evokes a reaction. It's a tough read, with suicide bombers, assassination attempts, and some truly messed up allegiances that play out to a level that is horrifying, especially if one considers it might be based on reality. It also introduces some new characters, like Amina, who is a surprisingly nuanced character, contrary to her first appearances. Matty gets the story but he also makes some big mistakes, and there's a harrowing interrogation sequence in here that was tough to read, especially given Burchielli's stark art. Also of note is Cory Doctorow's introduction, which provides some essential food for thought that helps contextualize the whole series. Wood manages to give the story an ending that satisfies even if it isn't happy for pretty much anyone involved. I think this is the strongest volume of the series yet.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Robert Timmons

    This volume of DMZ takes a new direction. The first two volumes focus on the bystanders of war i.e. the civilians who decide to stay in the war zone areas. But this volume looks at the terrorist cells and a Blackwater type organisation. Still a very good series but I wonder if the creative team can keep the quality of the first two volumes up for another 10 volumes

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ross Vincent

    In this volume, the UN sends in troops, to help keep order and protect the contract workers, who are there to help with the rebuilding of some of NYC. Except, ongoing suicide bombs put all involved at risk. And reporter Matty is in the middle of the investigation, when things dont seem on the up and up.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Samuel

    A high energy/high stakes issue. It maintains the quality of issue 2 while keeping the narrative intriguing and diverse, if we can expect the series to continue moving in this direction (especially the dark tones) we've got a lot to look forward to. A high energy/high stakes issue. It maintains the quality of issue 2 while keeping the narrative intriguing and diverse, if we can expect the series to continue moving in this direction (especially the dark tones) we've got a lot to look forward to.

  23. 4 out of 5

    M. Ashraf

    So this supposed to be Iraq and Blackwater! War reconstruction, Private Security and Terrorist cells with Allah Akbur here and there -_- Worst of the series so far! Did not like the ending too :/

  24. 5 out of 5

    Brendan

    DMZ begins really hitting its stride with this storyline, setting up characters and plotlines that will resonate out into the rest of the story, as well as further mining the gray area of politics in wartime Manhattan.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    This series is creeping up to the "Required Reading" list. This series is creeping up to the "Required Reading" list.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Hampton Stall

    interesting comic and great art style. characters feel a little flat and some things were a bit predictable here but the story was entertaining nonetheless

  27. 4 out of 5

    James

    The inner workings of a terrorist cell.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Phil

    It's been a while since I've read the first two volumes, but this one has a bit of a different feel. Matty, a journalist in Manhattan, dives into a story and bites off a bit more than he can chew. He is investigating a company called Trustwell. However, the story ends up being more about the people he encounters during his investigation than about the company itself. The shift in focus allows the story to delves into some interesting ideas, such as what would drive people to operate as terrorists It's been a while since I've read the first two volumes, but this one has a bit of a different feel. Matty, a journalist in Manhattan, dives into a story and bites off a bit more than he can chew. He is investigating a company called Trustwell. However, the story ends up being more about the people he encounters during his investigation than about the company itself. The shift in focus allows the story to delves into some interesting ideas, such as what would drive people to operate as terrorists in an environment like this (this is happening amidst the second American civil war). Matty's decisions aren't always good ones and that makes him feel more complex. Even when he tries to do good, the effects aren't always what is intended. The art is just as gritty and good as the first two volumes. This is taking place in a brutal situation and the art matches that perfectly.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Alex Murphy

    For me the DMZ series, has always been a better idea and setting than in its execution. The idea of a second American civil war and New York as a Demilitarized zone is very interesting. But after the reading the first two this adds nothing new in terms of plot, we still have no real motivation for the rebelling Free States, which what I can get is a kind of mix between a right wing militia with a large left-wing bias – which given the state of politics today seems stupid, and given the author ve For me the DMZ series, has always been a better idea and setting than in its execution. The idea of a second American civil war and New York as a Demilitarized zone is very interesting. But after the reading the first two this adds nothing new in terms of plot, we still have no real motivation for the rebelling Free States, which what I can get is a kind of mix between a right wing militia with a large left-wing bias – which given the state of politics today seems stupid, and given the author very clear left wing bias, to give them more sympathy than the obviously Bush/Cheney like right wing US government. This one, mines the Iraq war (again) for ideas, where a truce is underway in the DMZ between the US and the Free States. Reconstruction is underway, with a UN force acting as protection while a private security company Trustwell Inc, is charged with rebuilding. Trustwell is clearly Blackwater, they might as well have called it the same name. An amoral company that kills and tortures for money, is running secret operations in the DMZ. Matty Roth, has gone undercover to discover what they are up to, and break open the story. While attempting I think to be a bit edgy, it’s really pretty basic. Private security=bad, UN=good, even the way the characters on each are drawn are stereotypes. The UN, all seem tall, clean cut, Trustwell are all rednecks (allowable stereotyping I suppose) with its head, is a bald fat angry business man. Also, I think they don’t get the UN doesn’t have an army, other countries send theirs to be peacekeepers. Also while some of the actions of companies like Blackwater were basically criminal, UN peacekeepers in places like the Congo haven’t covered themselves in glory with sex rings and corruption. The story seems short, I finished it in an hour, while at the same time being a bit confusing. The plot point if the almost suicide bomber is pivotal to the plot but why she wants to be one seems to have been left out. I’m conflicted over liking Matty Roth. The character, an inexperienced reporter in the warzone going between the various factions is a good start, but he is too biased and works (sometimes) for the Free States. If I knew more about them perhaps it would be better, but all you get is the US is basically a bit more extreme version of liberal’s idea of Bush’s America, and the Free States are…not? I get the analogy to the ‘war on terror/Iraq’ and the writer being against it, but there’s a difference between being against that and being supportive of the ‘insurgents; in Iraq, who suicide bombed markets, Shia and Sunni death squads who drilled people, decapitated people and basically ethically cleaned each other. This has been my main gripe with the series that stops me loving it, as I’ve mentioned before is a great setting and really attracts me. I don’t mind it having a bias somewhere, it just needs to be more clear on stuff we, the reader is supposed to root for. It probably would have been better with no real ‘good guys; with Matty as an impartial voice within battlefield chaos. Probably like in real life. I have always liked the artwork of this series and again doesn’t disappoint, the writing of dialogue is also decent and flows well. While I’ll probably keep reading DMZ, it still doesn’t live up to the ideas it has for me to love it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Aaron

    I'm struggling with what to rate this volume, but coming off of the stellar 2nd entry, I feel like I have to give this one slightly less. While I was still very much hooked by the series as a whole, a lot of this storyline felt pretty poorly planned. This time around, having fully developed the duplicitous nature of all sides involved in the war, we're introduced to some elements analogous to real-world terrorism and Halliburton. Only, they never quite made sense to me. Matty gets involved with a I'm struggling with what to rate this volume, but coming off of the stellar 2nd entry, I feel like I have to give this one slightly less. While I was still very much hooked by the series as a whole, a lot of this storyline felt pretty poorly planned. This time around, having fully developed the duplicitous nature of all sides involved in the war, we're introduced to some elements analogous to real-world terrorism and Halliburton. Only, they never quite made sense to me. Matty gets involved with a group of terrorists... somehow. They end up being one of the most active and important terrorist cells in the entire DMZ, and yet somehow Matty just kind of fell into their ranks by accident. Great, because the plot would not have been very interesting if he hadn't, but come on. Also, all the terrorists are Muslims, as indicated by the fact that they scream "Allahu Akbar" just before blowing themselves up. I don't quite understand why they are Muslims, when this is an internal American Civil War that seems to have nothing to do with religion whatsoever. Seems like Wood just made them Muslims because that's what we think terrorists are. I wasn't a big fan of that decision. Also, this story just kind of clips along. Many incidents occur without any real explanation or set up, intended to shock you, but instead they just left me wondering how the hell any of this is possible. It's very unclear what level of power the US, Free Armies, UN, and Trustwell (the Halliburton proxy) actually have. Seems like it's randomly very easy to defeat each side and then very hard to defeat them, based on this story. I really hope this breakdown is temporary and Wood builds the world back up in the next volumes, because it's starting to feel very haphazard and poorly developed. The human element of this story is what keeps me from giving it a lower rating. This is definitely Wood's strong suit, and I'm always intrigued by the lives and choices of his characters. I hope future volumes stick to this rather than the war elements, as he seems to let those kind of slip through his fingers. In any case, this story is far from terrible, just feels like a little speed bump in an otherwise good series.

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