Thursday, February 08, 2007

Graphic Novel A Day: DMZ Vol. 2 Body of a Journalist

Writer: Brian Wood
Artists: Brian Wood, Kristian Donaldson & Riccardo Burchielli
Company: DC/Vertigo
Price: $12.99

While the first trade paperback of DMZ was good, it was uneven. There are no such troubles with DMZ Volume 2, which really takes everything good about the first volume and raises it to a new level. Wood said on his blog that "By the second DMZ arc, I had realized what sort of book I wanted DMZ to be," and it's easy to see what he means in reading Volume 2. The political machinations and general danger of Matty Roth and his newfound celebrity journalist role, not to mention the various factions working at cross purposes and the constant worry of betrayal, all come through in the "Body of a Journalist" story. And Burchielli's artwork, as always, is fantastic, bringing the images of a wartorn, third world version of Manhattan to all-too-vivid life. As a bonus, the book also includes the "origin of Zee," one of my favorite DMZ stories to date with art by up-and-comer Kristian. It closes out with issue #12, which was Brian Wood working more in the collage underground format he used for Channel Zero. While it wasn't a wholly satisfying single issue read, it makes a great extra to finish out the trade and pack the whole thing with lots of information about the world and characters of DMZ. I like the first DMZ trade, but I love volume two.

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