Friday, June 18, 2010

DMZ #54

Written by Brian Wood
Art by Riccardo Burchielli

Wood uses this issue to both finish up the MIA storyline and reset the entire title, taking it, and Matty, back to his roots as the series moves forward.

Basically, since giving his order that led to the deaths of a group of civilians, Matty has been overcome by guilt and self-doubt.  He's been wandering through New York on his way to turn himself in to the US forces, and to turn over the dog-tags of a few dead soldiers he discovered a few issues back, this slight act of contrition taking on massive symbolic importance in his mind.

What Matty finds is not what he was expecting.  His father is on hand, and they have a very interesting conversation, before Matty is offered a new job.  So much of this series has been about chronicling Matty's maturation, as he has moved from being a glory-hunting tourist to a political activist to his new role, as observer and conscience; in other words, he's finally ready to become a true journalist.

I've often been impressed with this book, and I really like this new/old direction.  There has been a lot of talk lately about how comics do not permit any real change in their characters, and at first it felt like Wood was, by returning this book to something closer to its original concept, bowing to similar pressures, but I expect that this was the plan all along, and that the contrast between the Matty of the first year of this series to the Matty of now will be quite interesting.  Good stuff.

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