By Patrick Bérubé
February 18, 2009 - 08:00
In this sixth volume of the series, it's election time in a war torn New-York. Both sides want their candidate to win this political and symbolic event but what they fail to understand is what the people of the DMZ really wants. Enter Parco Delgado, a charismatic leader and a popular sensation. He will soon force the hands of both parties as they will be obliged to include him in the election. That's when Matty joins Parco in the hope of seeing him getting elected. But how does this alliance is seen by Matty's employer? Can he keep his objectivity as a journalist and pick a side in a political campaign? Moreover, how will he react when he will learn that the person hired to help Parco getting elected his none other that his mother? And finally, when the Free Army and the USA will realize that they cannot control Parco, what will they do?
Brian Wood has crafted a complex and unique tapestry with DMZ. The different characters and their relationship he has created are very interesting in themselves but the real focus in this comic book is the city itself and it's political situation. The events depicted are larger in scope than just the life of Matty Roth even if we learn a bit more about him and his family in this volume. Where it gets oddly disturbing and interesting is when you realize that these events could easily take place in other war torn cities such as Kabul or Baghdad and it's hard not to draw any comparison with the actual situation over there. In all honesty, I haven't read any comic book so engaged in recent years and it feels really fresh. Brian Wood is one of the few writers who really has something to say and he does it with skills and wits.
As for the art, Mr. Wood has found a perfect partner in crime with Italian artist Riccardo Burchielli. Aside for a few fill-in, he has been on the art duty since day one and he is credited for co-creating DMZ. But even if I really do appreciate his art, I have to admit that this volume is not his best so far. His line seems bolder, less detailed. What we have seen in previous volumes seemed a bit cleaner and clearer. For that reason, I'll say that it is the first time that his art is not on par with the story even if it remains more than acceptable.
If you like politics, actions and drama, DMZ is definitely for you. I believe it's one of the best regular series published by Vertigo (or by DC comics for that matters) in recent years. Every time I read it I feel like it speaks to me. The only reason I regret not buying this comic book in his monthly format is that I have to wait longer between the trade paperback.
I rate this volume 9.5 out of 10 only because I never give a 10 to anything.