Thursday, April 2, 2009

DMZ Vol. 3 - Public Works

DMZ Vol. 3 - Public Works
By Brian Wood, Riccardo Burchielli

Let's cut right to the chase: DMZ continues to improve. Public Works gives us a more focused story than anything that has come before, much more clear and direct than the somewhat scattered, uneven initial arcs of this filled-with-potential series. The story focuses on a (very, very, very) thinly veiled Halliburton + Blackwater corporation that is, of course, mustache-twirling eeeeeeevil.

Somehow, though, Wood manages to not come across as too heavy-handed. Quite the feat.

Our protagonist, Matty, continues to be barely likable, which is usually death for a lead character, and I continue to long for a more meaningful exploration of the people living in the DMZ, but Public Works offers a solid story and the best sense of place I've seen so far in this series. It grapples with questions of corruption and terrorism, and puts the main character in some tough situations that struggle with issues of morality, and right and wrong.

Yes, yes, all obvious questions and themes from a series blatantly trying to offer commentary on America's recent "adventures" in the Middle East, but I'm not going to knock the guy for exploring such thematic material as long as the end result is a quality read. And this one was.

An earlier version of this review was originally posted at and was also featured at

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