Posted tagged ‘DMZ’

Review: DMZ: War Powers

September 16, 2009

The latest collection of Brian Wood and Riccardo Burchielli’s DMZ introduces a key element to the series that has been a bit absent up until now, a plot.  Now I don’t mean this to be harsh criticism, DMZ has been a story about its location, and has up until now been a series of vignettes about that place.  Those stories have been incredible, and the fourth volume earned a 5 star review from me over on LibraryThing.

But those bits and pieces haven’t always connected up into a larger story.  Now that’s changed as Wood touches on quite a few of those prior tales as part of the rise to power of the DMZ’s new governor.  The book also brings the series into some darker territory than its been in before by pretty much eliminating the last hope of their being a happily ever after moment for any of the characters, and yes that includes Manhattan.

Review: DMZ: Blood In the Game

March 8, 2009

It was inevitable that Brian Wood would turn his sociological masterpiece of a comic, DMZ, towards politics.  In this volume, elections come to what’s left of Manhattan and a local spoiler rises to power to oppose an otherwise rigged election, leaving Matty and his journalistic impartiality stuck in the middle.

This isn’t one of the stronger story arcs in the series, mostly because it feels like a middle chapter.  Despite being a full story arc nothing is really resolved here, but it does make me eager for the next collection.

RA: Politics for Geeks

September 13, 2008

I’ve been aching to put together some recomendation lists for awhile now, and as it’s an election year I figured this would be a good one to start of with.  So my top 10 political stories for geeks:

10) Iron Council, the most political novel from New Weird proponent and former Socialist party candidate China Mieville.

9) Sam & Max: Abe Lincoln Must Die, Telltale games has done an amazing job by bring back Sam & Max to adventure games.  This episode is the highlight of it to date, thanks in large part to seeing the homicidal rabbit-like Max debate the Lincoln Memorial.  Right now it’s also available as a free trial to advertise the other 9 episodes.

8 ) Howard the Duck, the best satire of life in the 70’s comics ever produced.  Of particular note here are issues 7-9 in which Howard is nominated as the Presidential candidate for the All Night Party, only to lose when some lurid photographs of him get released.

7) V for Vendetta, forget Watchmen, V is Alan Moore’s masterpiece.  A searing blast of anarchy aimed squarely at Margaret Thatcher that didn’t lose any of it’s power when translated into a movie focused on Bush’s America instead.  Both the movie and the original are well worth checking out.

6) DMZ, Brian Wood’s chronicle of the second U.S. civil war (centered in New York City) is Vertigo’s best book (once 100 Bullets ends in a few months) and is by far the most relevant comic currently on the stands.

5) Futurama: A Head In the Polls, always a show with a slight politicla bent to it (Al Gore’s daughter was one of the writers after all), Futurama went all it for this episode in which the Planet Express team explore a political convention, watch the debates between Jack Johnson and John Jackson, and ultimately allow for the second coming of Richard Nixon.  One of my favorite episodes if only for the Hypnotoad.

4) Wag the Dog, Barry Levinson and David Mamet’s brilliant tale of a staged war used to distract the public from a scandal involving the incumbant President.  Some great performances from Dustin Hoffman, Robert DeNiro and William H. Macy help to sell my favorite political film.

3) The Onion, still the best source for print satire of current events.

2) Battlestar Galactica, a continually surprising, Peabody Award winning space opera, that has proven to be the most relevant show on tv.  The writers excel at playing devil’s advicates.  Positing a world in which the heroes have no choice but to rig elections, commit terrorist bombings, hold secret military tribunals and criminalize abortions (they have gone on the record as actually being fairly liberal).  Now if it’ll just come back to wrap up the final season.

1) Transmetropolitan, the book that first put Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson on the map.  An epic chronicling how the press brings about the rise and fall of a President.  Besides the politics it is also one of the great works of futurism and a scathing attack on the failures of the press.  I’ve reread the entire thing at least half a dozen times now and I fully plan on doing so again in the near future.

Review: DMZ: the Hidden War

August 21, 2008

With 100 Bullets coming to an end DMZ is positioned to become the best book Vertigo is publishing.  The story is about the lives of people living in a war zone, with the added twist that it takes place in New York City.  Wood has taken the high road in his writing by showing a society that has endured under the worst conditions imaginable.

However, this particular volume is not quite up there with Wood’s best work on the series.  It’s made up of a series of 6 vigniettes focusing on members of the supporting cast.  Some of them are quite good and I’m always happy to have another comic with art from Danijel Zezelj, but for the most part they simply exist to fill in some background details.  So a good comic, but there are better collections of this series.