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DMZ, Vol. 4: Friendly Fire

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Collecting issues #18-22 of the acclaimed series by Brian Wood! Matty Roth reluctantly lands an interview for Liberty News with an enlisted U.S. solider who's found guilty of a massacre within the DMZ. What follows is a look at how the DMZ came to be, from the perspective of a kid who came from the Midwest and walked right into a nightmare. Collecting issues #18-22 of the acclaimed series by Brian Wood! Matty Roth reluctantly lands an interview for Liberty News with an enlisted U.S. solider who's found guilty of a massacre within the DMZ. What follows is a look at how the DMZ came to be, from the perspective of a kid who came from the Midwest and walked right into a nightmare.


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Collecting issues #18-22 of the acclaimed series by Brian Wood! Matty Roth reluctantly lands an interview for Liberty News with an enlisted U.S. solider who's found guilty of a massacre within the DMZ. What follows is a look at how the DMZ came to be, from the perspective of a kid who came from the Midwest and walked right into a nightmare. Collecting issues #18-22 of the acclaimed series by Brian Wood! Matty Roth reluctantly lands an interview for Liberty News with an enlisted U.S. solider who's found guilty of a massacre within the DMZ. What follows is a look at how the DMZ came to be, from the perspective of a kid who came from the Midwest and walked right into a nightmare.

30 review for DMZ, Vol. 4: Friendly Fire

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jan Philipzig

    As you may recall, protagonist Matty generally looks excellent amidst the ruins of New York City. He’s the cool, tough, handsome type, you see, though not necessarily the brightest bulb on the porch. Which is unfortunate, as it's Matty’s smarts the reader ultimately relies on when it comes to making sense of the story. Coming into this fourth volume, the only thing journalist Matty has been able to figure out is that “this is a war of extremes pushing against each other”--whatever the hell that m As you may recall, protagonist Matty generally looks excellent amidst the ruins of New York City. He’s the cool, tough, handsome type, you see, though not necessarily the brightest bulb on the porch. Which is unfortunate, as it's Matty’s smarts the reader ultimately relies on when it comes to making sense of the story. Coming into this fourth volume, the only thing journalist Matty has been able to figure out is that “this is a war of extremes pushing against each other”--whatever the hell that means. And by the end of the volume, he hasn’t exactly made a lot of progress: “I don’t know a single fucking thing more than I did yesterday. Except that everything about this is still shit.” Yep, same here, Matty. Four volumes in, and the only thing I know for sure is “that everything about this is still shit.” Which isn’t really all that surprising, considering we’re still looking at war through the eyes of a hipster who “never paid attention to politics.” Wait a minute, thinks Matty, “or is this war just so fucked up that no one has a handle on what they’re doing anymore?” Whoa, that’s deep, Matty, that must be it...

  2. 4 out of 5

    Felicia

    Enjoyed this a lot, more than #3. I thought it dealt with really interesting issues from some objective viewpoints, raised more questions than answers and I think that was the goal, and they did it really well. Provocative and artistic.

  3. 4 out of 5

    J.G. Keely

    This is the most interesting volume of DMZ so far, because the structure of the story forces Wood out of his standard voice. By choosing to do a Rashomon story (or a Jose Chung's, depending on your specialty), Wood ensures that each character in the story has a different view and different voice, because the whole story is based on the idea that everyone sees events in different ways. I only wish that he had been differentiating his characters and their points-of-view this much right from the beg This is the most interesting volume of DMZ so far, because the structure of the story forces Wood out of his standard voice. By choosing to do a Rashomon story (or a Jose Chung's, depending on your specialty), Wood ensures that each character in the story has a different view and different voice, because the whole story is based on the idea that everyone sees events in different ways. I only wish that he had been differentiating his characters and their points-of-view this much right from the beginning. Even in this story, we only really get differences in tone from the characters our protagonist interviews, not from the rest of the familiar cast, so it makes me worry that once this arc is over, we'll go back to the same flat characters as before: the saintly local nurse, the thug soldiers, the slimy politicians, and other such lackluster depictions. The fact that wood is trying to depict a conflicted, many-sided issue with no single, easy answer also means that this story has the most conceptual depth in the series. There are some moments here that approach real profundity, though there are also some trite simplifications that undercut the message. In all, this is the first arc in DMZ that feels like a Vertigo title to me, with nods to complexity and depth, even if things don't quite reach the level of climax earlier authors managed. But then, the early, pioneering authors who transformed comics into a modern, sophisticated art form were coming from a very different place. Gerber, Moore, Milligan, and Gaiman couldn't look back at a group of proven greats in comics to learn their trade, there was no blueprint for what modern comics could be. They were inventive and revolutionary because they had to be, they had to make things up as they went along. The new generation of comics authors live in a different world, in a world where comics are already proven as art, and they can search out and see what good comics are supposed to look like. However, I'm not sure this is a good thing, in terms of creativity, because instead of being forced to create something new, to prove themselves, they can just write in imitation of previously successful styles. I have often said that in order to do something well--to develop a voice in art--requires many varied sources of inspiration. To write like Tolkien, you don't read Tolkien, you have to read and understand what influenced him. To play like Zeppelin, it's not enough to listen to Zeppelin, you have to understand the music they were listening to. If you take one artistic vision and try to recreate it, all you're going to do is dumb it down, because you're not adding anything new into the mix. Again and again, reading these new authors, I feel this sense that they are taking an easier path, copying the forms of the comic writers who came before them, and it's no wonder that their stories come out lackluster, because they haven't added anything new into the mix to make it their own. However, if Wood can continue this upswing, continue diversifying characters and viewpoints, working hard to make a plot that is deep instead of one which is straightforward, and learns how to communicate his story and ideas through character action, not talking heads, narration, and 'news stories', then this comic might actually get somewhere. My Suggested Reading In Comics

  4. 4 out of 5

    James DeSantis

    This volume was really good. I think Wood found his stride now. So this is a single story of a terrible event. When the Military was trying to deesclate a situation with a crowd of people in trench-like coats and when one looked like he pulled out a weapon they began shooting. Nearly everyone died in the massive group. Years later one of those shooters claims it was not justified and tries to stand up to the military. Matty decides to report on this story but as he begins to get the story from m This volume was really good. I think Wood found his stride now. So this is a single story of a terrible event. When the Military was trying to deesclate a situation with a crowd of people in trench-like coats and when one looked like he pulled out a weapon they began shooting. Nearly everyone died in the massive group. Years later one of those shooters claims it was not justified and tries to stand up to the military. Matty decides to report on this story but as he begins to get the story from multiple sources, things get worse and worse. Overall, this is really fast paced for the story it is telling. It's a slowburn at first, and maybe not that interested, but quickly because a perspective sort of story. Where everyone viewed that day as something different. Who do you believe? Who shot first? Why did they shoot? All these questions build but the final answer is the real hard hitting moment. The last few pages are so fucked up but well done that I loved it. The retelling might have gotten a bit boring at times but the final issue made up for it and landed. A for sure 4 out of 5 story.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ill D

    Continuing it’s middling level of quality a particularly shadowy plot drives this 4th volume of DMZ. Flexing his Leftie credentials yet again, Woods here reduplicates the Kent State Shootings unto a midrash for our modern era. Citizens this, armed soldiers that, innocents mowed down, you know your history. Yet, once against (and this was a surprise to yours truly) the exact same event was redone in TransMet too. And if you’ve read my last DMZ review I’ll let you guess which one is superior. Of co Continuing it’s middling level of quality a particularly shadowy plot drives this 4th volume of DMZ. Flexing his Leftie credentials yet again, Woods here reduplicates the Kent State Shootings unto a midrash for our modern era. Citizens this, armed soldiers that, innocents mowed down, you know your history. Yet, once against (and this was a surprise to yours truly) the exact same event was redone in TransMet too. And if you’ve read my last DMZ review I’ll let you guess which one is superior. Of course, devoid of well thought-out quality, there’s no complexity here on any level. Woods explicitly illustrates who is in the right here and who is utterly in the wrong here. We have no chance to make up our minds about this one. No presentation of further evidence. No cross-examination. For Brian Woods, the arbiter of truth is the the selfsame judge, jury and executioner of the series, the author.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

    This volume was just fantastic.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Peter Derk

    DMZ is a book of real highs and lows for me. The lows come in because sometimes I'm straight-up lost in the plot. Which I think is common. Because a lot of the plots revolve around big conspiracies with double-crosses and unknown entities, how is a person ever going to keep it all straight? The highs are situations like the end of this volume. In essence, a lot of bullshit is blamed on the wrong guy, a soldier in this case. And I think that's where DMZ speaks to something very real and true. The bi DMZ is a book of real highs and lows for me. The lows come in because sometimes I'm straight-up lost in the plot. Which I think is common. Because a lot of the plots revolve around big conspiracies with double-crosses and unknown entities, how is a person ever going to keep it all straight? The highs are situations like the end of this volume. In essence, a lot of bullshit is blamed on the wrong guy, a soldier in this case. And I think that's where DMZ speaks to something very real and true. The big, over-arching ideas in DMZ that mirror our own, the ones about corporations being in bed with government and essentially profiting from war and violence is just old news. It's sickening news, it's the oldest story in the book (I'm sure some asshole made a shitload of money selling armor to knights and shit too), which is why it doesn't do a whole lot for me. But the ideas that get smaller, when the book focuses in on individuals, I think that's where it finds its footing. This book in particular sends a couple messages in a very effective way. 1. It really IS easier to write off victims of war violence who are categorized as collateral damage when they speak a different language, wear different clothes, and live in places that just look so Other. I'm sorry, I have a bad brain, but it's much easier for me to not imagine someone as having a life when that life is so different from my own, and when all you really see is quick flashes of streets filled with rubble. Setting the book in Manhattan, the America-est of American cities, flips that whole idea. 2. People really talk a lot about supporting the troops, but I think that they have a fundamental misunderstanding of how the military works. I'm not going to get into it on a big scale here, but here's what I want to say: You do not support troops by giving the people who boss them around carte blanche. Underequipped, undertrained, outnumbered, young men are not done any favors by you not questioning the people who send them to fight. As an American citizen, the government is your employee. If you owned a McDonald's and saw a manager assigning one of the cashiers a useless, pointlessly dangerous task, you would not just let that happen for the sake of maintaining harmony at that McDonald's. Anyway, that's enough of that.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nick Dines

    Buy. Borrow. Steal (well don't, but you know what I mean). This is absolutely brilliant. I can't recommend it enough. Buy. Borrow. Steal (well don't, but you know what I mean). This is absolutely brilliant. I can't recommend it enough.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Indika de Silva

    My favorite DMZ volume to date. The story depicts the ugly side of war and how the innocent are the ultimate victims regardless of the consequences. This story moved me. Now to Volume 5...

  10. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Some interesting back story to "the War" in this volume. I've never been interested in the "history" leading up the the war in DMZ; I'm perfectly happy to accept the premise and see how Wood explores life in a warzone, but this was a really well done story about the muddy morality of warfare. Wood didn't provide a nice, pat answer where somebody is found to be guilty or innocent. Soldiers open fire on a crowd of peace protestors, and nobody knows who to blame, if anybody is to blame. Matty's tryi Some interesting back story to "the War" in this volume. I've never been interested in the "history" leading up the the war in DMZ; I'm perfectly happy to accept the premise and see how Wood explores life in a warzone, but this was a really well done story about the muddy morality of warfare. Wood didn't provide a nice, pat answer where somebody is found to be guilty or innocent. Soldiers open fire on a crowd of peace protestors, and nobody knows who to blame, if anybody is to blame. Matty's trying to find out what happened, and he finds that in a highly stressful, confusing, uncoordinated setting, with unprepared troops who are out of touch with command, anything can happen. That doesn't excuse the soldiers for the murder of hundreds of civilians, but it doesn't justify the execution of a young, stupid kid who was in a terrible situation out of his control. I wish that Vertigo would skip a month occasionally in publishing this series, however, so that Burchielli could draw every issue. Kristian Donaldson's fill-in art was solid on its own terms, but it doesn't flow well with Burchielli's art.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Robert Timmons

    DMZ volume 4 is the best of the series so far by a mile. In this volume, the young journalist from the first three volumes, Matt Roth, lands an interview with an enlisted US soldier who was involved in a massacre within the DMZ. This allows Brian Wood to tell the story of how the DMZ came to be and also the story of a young kid from the Midwest who ends up in this nightmare. Wood does a great job showing the different viewpoints of this conflict and portrays the difficulty with deciding who is r DMZ volume 4 is the best of the series so far by a mile. In this volume, the young journalist from the first three volumes, Matt Roth, lands an interview with an enlisted US soldier who was involved in a massacre within the DMZ. This allows Brian Wood to tell the story of how the DMZ came to be and also the story of a young kid from the Midwest who ends up in this nightmare. Wood does a great job showing the different viewpoints of this conflict and portrays the difficulty with deciding who is right in these situations. It's interesting that the best volume of this series is the one which focuses on the individuals in the conflict rather than the bigger condors of companies profiting from the war. Five stars from me ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

  12. 4 out of 5

    Cale

    This is Brian Wood's Courage Under Fire/Rashomon volume, as Matty tries to uncover the story behind the events of Day 204, a sea change moment in the conflict between the US and the FSA. It pulls no punches, painting everyone as victims, no matter where they were in the events, and letting no one off easily, especially with its brutal ending. Matty's a bystander here more than anything else, allowing the different character's perspectives on the events to carry through, and I love how the book i This is Brian Wood's Courage Under Fire/Rashomon volume, as Matty tries to uncover the story behind the events of Day 204, a sea change moment in the conflict between the US and the FSA. It pulls no punches, painting everyone as victims, no matter where they were in the events, and letting no one off easily, especially with its brutal ending. Matty's a bystander here more than anything else, allowing the different character's perspectives on the events to carry through, and I love how the book includes even those who weren't directly affected by the action to better paint the wider range of the impact. It's a slightly shorter volume than the previous ones, but that doesn't make it any weaker.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Robert Hudder

    So, this volume seems like a rollback and self contained. It is about the fall guy and the people complicit in creating a fall guy including those demanding justice. There is no truthful resolution to this arc but just a bit of a hands thrown up in the air. In some ways, it is a simpler statement of something like Footnotes in Gaza by Joe Sacco. I'm not being dismissive here. I am not sure there is a good answer and none is offered. There are some facts such as number killed, the way a system fa So, this volume seems like a rollback and self contained. It is about the fall guy and the people complicit in creating a fall guy including those demanding justice. There is no truthful resolution to this arc but just a bit of a hands thrown up in the air. In some ways, it is a simpler statement of something like Footnotes in Gaza by Joe Sacco. I'm not being dismissive here. I am not sure there is a good answer and none is offered. There are some facts such as number killed, the way a system fails, and the visceral need for accountability. Unfortunately, reality or representation of reality isn't always satisfying. That's okay.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Marissa

    Structurally sound except Matty just keeps on white-knuckling through his privilege (yes, even in the DMZ) and is now sleeping with Zee. Because hey, sure, why not, she's never shown interest before, just slap two characters together because reasons. Oh, we also meet The Snoozer for two whole panels and don't get anything fun for it except knowing that a 9th issue of Snoozer exists. I hope to god someone writes this zine in one of the upcoming trades. Structurally sound except Matty just keeps on white-knuckling through his privilege (yes, even in the DMZ) and is now sleeping with Zee. Because hey, sure, why not, she's never shown interest before, just slap two characters together because reasons. Oh, we also meet The Snoozer for two whole panels and don't get anything fun for it except knowing that a 9th issue of Snoozer exists. I hope to god someone writes this zine in one of the upcoming trades.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Norma

    A story of a family secret, kept so long, that everyone has a different notion of the truth. Many strange, sometimes funny, somewhat heart-breaking, situations occur due to the secrets kept by Mica's grandmother when they return after generations to Warsaw, supposedly to reclaim their lost property. A story of a family secret, kept so long, that everyone has a different notion of the truth. Many strange, sometimes funny, somewhat heart-breaking, situations occur due to the secrets kept by Mica's grandmother when they return after generations to Warsaw, supposedly to reclaim their lost property.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Omar Fernandez

    Very nice Compelling story. Really makes you think about why insurgents in other countries where the IS fights wars do what they do. The varying artwork was cool too. I really hope they make this into a movie.

  17. 5 out of 5

    M. Ashraf

    This volume is a far better story that the Sh*t that was in the previous volume! Very interesting questions were asked, different point of views and with a shocking put somehow fitting ending to the whole situation. I think this volume in the top 2 so far! 3.5/5

  18. 4 out of 5

    Brendan

    Friendly Fire is another great storyline, dealing smartly, if rather superficially at times, with the confusion and chaos of modern warfare, and the question of who should be responsible when things go horribly wrong.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ross Vincent

    Volume 4 explores how Manhattan ended up being the DMZ - a miscommunication, a trigger happy leader and a nervous & scared Midwest kid cause an slaughter that would highlight the problems with this civil war and make people question the motives of those who are fighting the war....

  20. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    This did just vault onto the "Required Reading" list. This did just vault onto the "Required Reading" list.

  21. 5 out of 5

    James

    Somebody always pays for a mistake.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Gary Maginnis

    absolutely tremendous. would be a five star but the third chapter was a bit of a comedown from the rest. otherwise it's perfect absolutely tremendous. would be a five star but the third chapter was a bit of a comedown from the rest. otherwise it's perfect

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ashley M. Hardy

    End of society as we know it. Wonderful work of fiction and illustrations. I recommend to graphic novel/comic book enthusiasts.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    An excellent volume, presenting a rashomon style retelling of a massacre from multiple perspectives.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Samuel

    It's not that this issue was necessarily bad, in fact I actually liked the story and the questions it raised. The problem is that the main narrative isn't being moved, it's hard to stay intrigued when issues tie up without any suspense or connection to the next one. People with less patience may call this one DMZ's last strike of being episodic instead of an epic. It's not that this issue was necessarily bad, in fact I actually liked the story and the questions it raised. The problem is that the main narrative isn't being moved, it's hard to stay intrigued when issues tie up without any suspense or connection to the next one. People with less patience may call this one DMZ's last strike of being episodic instead of an epic.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    Brian Wood is the kind of writer I find persistently frustrating. I've read his work in several different series, most notably Northlanders, and I find that I always walk away from his work hooked on the story but let down by the characters. Wood is extremely inventive as a writer, which is evident in this volume of his series DMZ, his sense of setting, pacing, and resolution are top notch. The problem? I never really care about his main characters. Friendly Fire is a great case in point. This vo Brian Wood is the kind of writer I find persistently frustrating. I've read his work in several different series, most notably Northlanders, and I find that I always walk away from his work hooked on the story but let down by the characters. Wood is extremely inventive as a writer, which is evident in this volume of his series DMZ, his sense of setting, pacing, and resolution are top notch. The problem? I never really care about his main characters. Friendly Fire is a great case in point. This volume revolves around the most important day of the war to date, Day 204 and the massacre that occurred on it. Again, Woods creation of a world where, with their attention completely preoccupied by foreign wars the US Government is caught off guard when a insurrection, led by primarily elements of various mid-western militia groups, rises up and begins and armed take over of the country. This war grinds to a halt when the elements the militias, roughly working together under the umbrella of the Free States of America, hit Manhattan. The US draws a line in the sand and a block to block battle is waged with the Free States based in New Jersey and the US based in Long Island. All of this was covered in the previous three volumes and mostly in flash back as the book takes place years after the battle of Manhattan. Day 204, we learn in this volume, is the critical point in the war where the battle of Manhattan turned into the DMZ that has dominated the story up to this point. How did the Free States and the US Government come to a point where each has agreed that Manhattan is effectively a self governed no-mans-land where no one can enter or leave except under extreme circumstances? Wood provides a very compelling explanation in this volume and it all revolves around a moment, a much disputed moment, when hundreds of Manhattan peace protesters where killed by US forces. This moment, so outrageous to people on both sides of the conflict, and the world community for that matter, forces the US Government to negotiate a ceasefire with the Free States that evolves into the transformation of Manhattan into the DMZ. Matty Roth, the accidental journalist embedded in the DMZ who is the main protagonist of series, is asked to write an article on Day 204 on the eve of the verdict in the trial of those involved. The trial, held by the the US Government, is seen as crucial in reestablishing credibility for the US and their forces. Roth, who in the previous volumes has earned the trust of both sides in the conflict, as well as the public at large through his reporting, is tasked with making sense of the incident and reporting on it in an honest way. What follows is a very compelling story that is a masterful critique of the confusion of war and the way that regular people are ground up by forces much greater than themselves. Again, while I enjoyed the story a great deal, and found the actions of Roth and the other characters in this book compelling, I don't feel like I know anything more about his character at the end of this volume than I did at the beginning. I often feel that with Wood his characters are most tour guides to a story rather than rich, complex people. This is why I find his work so frustrating. If he had added more character development to Roth in this volume, or the preceding volumes, this title would easily be one of the best things out there. As it is, even with this flaw, I can't help but recommend it. What can I say, I'm hooked and I'll be back for Vol. 5.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    This series is so great. Political, heartbreaking, and exciting.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Du4

    FRIENDLY FIRE is Wood's chance to tell the story of the mythic Day 204, the day in which U.S. soldiers slaughtered 204 New York natives during a peace protest. It's a tough story to read, and Wood deserves kudos for portraying the different perspectives so well. I was particularly impressed with his portrayals of U.S. soldiers and how they are trained to do exactly what many are being vilified for in Iraq and Afghanistan now: kill people. The greatest part of this story is that the event itself b FRIENDLY FIRE is Wood's chance to tell the story of the mythic Day 204, the day in which U.S. soldiers slaughtered 204 New York natives during a peace protest. It's a tough story to read, and Wood deserves kudos for portraying the different perspectives so well. I was particularly impressed with his portrayals of U.S. soldiers and how they are trained to do exactly what many are being vilified for in Iraq and Afghanistan now: kill people. The greatest part of this story is that the event itself becomes meaningless. Wood's point about the massacre is that the perception impact of the event is so great, it brought the U.S. to an immediate stalemate in its war with the Free States. It's Abu Ghraib taken to a hometown degree. Ultimately, even the participants' involvement becomes moot as they reflect on the events of the day: there becomes no question about who did what or why. And the tragedy of the justice executed at FRIENDLY FIRE's conclusion is par for the course of DMZ's wonderful brutality. I have a huge complaint with this volume however, and that's the sudden artistic changes in the story. In a previous review, I had mentioned how great it was that Burchielli managed to pump out a steady stream of work in line with Wood's stories, and that any fill-in art thematically matched Wood's story. FRIENDLY FIRE, unfortunately, does not take that path. It begins with a flashback to one of the Day 204 soldiers' paths to joining the Army, and this sequence is ably executed, but the art is a poor match for the tone of the story (and the book). After this, the art breaks down into multiple offerings from multiple artists, streaming across stories in such a way that it becomes apparent that there's been a problem keeping Burchielli on schedule. Nothing brings me out of a story faster than this, and I found myself reading through these chapters quicker just to get back to what I thought was the "main" story with Burchielli's art. It's even more of a pain when the replaced artist in question, in this case Burchielli, cannot be easily mimicked by his fill-ins. And so when you see the Matty Roth drawn by Kristian Donaldson in Chapter 3, he looks NOTHING like Burchielli's version. So there is a little bit of a trust issue that develops here: It's hard for a loyal reader who has become so engorged by Wood's narrative to remain loyal to the series when the images involved are so carelessly altered. This happens all the time in mainstream comics, but it's much more annoying to me personally for the boutique small press books of which Vertigo is representative. Granted, Vertigo is still a DC owned and operated imprint, but it's going to be hard to stack DMZ up next to PREACHER or TRANSMETROPOLITAN, both of which had unbreakable runs with singular artists, in the long run.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Gavin

    This series is REALLY taking off at this point. Vol 3 was fantastic and this one is no different. Matty is investigating a massacre of civilian peace protestors near the start of the war that took place before he was in the DMZ. The plot is really spot on in regards to the warrior culture of the US, and how the economy runs on war, the one thing that the nation excels at. In the aftermath of 198 citizens being gunned down by their own government, a shift took place, that lost the USA the moral nig This series is REALLY taking off at this point. Vol 3 was fantastic and this one is no different. Matty is investigating a massacre of civilian peace protestors near the start of the war that took place before he was in the DMZ. The plot is really spot on in regards to the warrior culture of the US, and how the economy runs on war, the one thing that the nation excels at. In the aftermath of 198 citizens being gunned down by their own government, a shift took place, that lost the USA the moral nigh ground against the Free States. More importantly, the book examines the reality of who's to blame for such events, and if there really is any point in assigning blame, as it won't do much good. There is a trial and verdicts are announced, nearly 3 years after the massacre. Matty talks to survivors, people who saw it, a few of the soliders involved (one who blew the whistle, for all the good it did him), and one who was the squad leader, a career soldier who did exactly what he was trained to do by his superiors. As one higher up says to Matty, they're not trained to second-guess. The verdict comes down, and the results obviously have a reaction from everyone. The real takeaway from this however, is that it is war, and there's no such thing as good bad innocent or guilty and blame isn't going to do any good, in the middle of a Civil War that has no rules. Great social commentary on war in the modern era and though it's set in NYC, it pretty much applies to Iraq and Afghanistan. Brilliant work, thought-provoking stuff. Strongly recommended, an essential series to read at this point. Start from the beginning for the most impact.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    This was a pretty decent story in this series. What really impressed me was that right after the intro there was a couple of pages that showed the various main characters and explained where they fit into the story. Also included was some back fill as to what has occurred up to the point where book 4 is now sitting. This was definitely helpful as this is a somewhat complex story overall and if you have not read one of these in a while you may be a bit off. The graphic artwork also stands up quit This was a pretty decent story in this series. What really impressed me was that right after the intro there was a couple of pages that showed the various main characters and explained where they fit into the story. Also included was some back fill as to what has occurred up to the point where book 4 is now sitting. This was definitely helpful as this is a somewhat complex story overall and if you have not read one of these in a while you may be a bit off. The graphic artwork also stands up quite well to the violent nature of the story.

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