Comic books you need to read: 'DMZ'

DMZ (Vertigo/DC) is an extremely clever comic book series that regularly transcends mere cleverness. Created by writer-artist Brian Wood, it presents a future New York City as a demilitarized zone surrounded by a civil war. The combatants are the federal government versus the “Free States Army.”

The book’s hero, Matty Roth, began the series a callow photo-journalism intern but has developed into a shrewd go-between and chronicler of the opposing sides.

The new 50th issue of DMZ is a good place to hop into the series if you haven’t read it before, presenting a series of vignettes that touch on various major characters and plotlines. You can also read various trade-paperback collections of the series.

DMZ takes what could have been a trite notion — the idea of “bringing the war home” literally, by turning America into a war zone similar to those in Iraq or Afghanistan– and on the strength of a complex imagination, turns it into a comic book that needs no superheroics, because the heroism is performed by ordinary people you come to care about quickly.

Comments (6 total) Add your comment
  • Stephanie Tanner

    it will be made into a movie soon, then 2 yrs later rebooted to be more gritty and real, and 3D for the hell of it.

  • Billiam

    Really though, the best way to read a Vertigo series is in collected form. Each trade paperback volume contains a story arc (usually 6 issues approximately). You might even be able to find it through a library system (and all are on

  • rerun

    Yeah, I get this in trades and really enjoy it.

    • Von Raschke’s Claw

      Yeah, the trade paperback is the way to go for this series (and at very reasonable prices too). It is also worth checking his viking series “Northlanders” (also cheaper in trades and more suited to a longer reading session.)

  • Jeff W.

    ‘it presents a future New York City as a demilitarized zone surrounded by a civil war. The combatants are the federeal government versus the “Free States Army.”’ Yawn. I fell asleep reading this description. No thanks.

    • David

      That description is like calling BSG “Robots Turn on their Masters”. Misleading in its accuracy.
      This is a smart, engrossing, conceptually subtle story.

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