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DMZ (TPB#2) – Body of a Journalist

October 22, 2008

The second TPB of DMZ includes the issues #6-12 and with the five part story arc “Body of a Journalist”, a background story of Zee and a New York tourist guide (issue #12). The first story arc is still written by Brian Wood and features art by Riccardo Burchielli and so there is not much difference from a mere artistic point of view.

The story still revolves around the photojournalist Matty Roth, who is kidnapped by the Free States of America in the first issue, only to reveal to him that Viktor Ferguson, the reporter from Liberty News and Matty’s co-worker, is still alive. Matty is released to negotiate ransom claims with the other side. When he is returned to Manhattan, after the negotiations, he however finds out that his equipment is bugged and so he decides to stop working for Liberty News. Still, he decides to help out with the negotiations and the liberation of Ferguson, but something goes terribly wrong.

The one-issue story “ZEE, NYC” is told through the eyes of Matty’s friend Zee and revisits the first days of the conflict and the following chaos in Manhattan. The art by Kristian Donaldson is however not to my liking. It is sufficient to show us how Manhattan became an exile, but I just can’t appreciate it completely.

The last issue in the paperback (art and story both by Wood) is a kind of travel guide, in which Matty collects articles and interviews in order to give outsiders a more thorough understanding of the current situation in Manhattan. The included restaurant tips, hangout spots and the collage style art give the journal a very authentic feel.

Brian Wood manages to continue his gripping story of the war mainly fought on American soil in this second paperback issue. He once again focuses on the role of the media in war times by actively making a reporter part of the conflict. The protagonist is no longer merely a spectator in his role as a journalist. Just as the first TPB, this one is once again very readable and manages to introduce sensible political issues into an interesting and tense fictional story. Once again it should be mentioned that DMZ can only be recommended to mature audiences, due to its profane language and explicit graphic themes.

Story 8, Art 7.5, Reread 7, Overall Rating 7.5/10

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