Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews
Vertigo (DC Comics)
Wood & Burchielli
"Free States Rising" continues as the book races towards its conclusion. This issue, much like the past few issues, seems to be getting back to basics. It has a familiarity to it from the first few issues in the series where Matty has a code of ethics and some standards he holds himself to, but this time through he's got a lot of skeletons in the closet to deal with as he meets these characters for a final time. This issue focuses on the resurrection of Parco. It's another strong issue that presents a good confrontation between the two as Matty calls out Parco for everything he should based on their past interactions. This is the kind of comic book that never churns out a bad book.
The book opens with the weakest part of the story. Matty is held at gunpoint briefly when Matty questions the captive Free States commander. With everything that Matty has done it just doesn't seem likely that anyone in the military would deem him anything less than expendable. Even if the military felt Matty could help them save face after the war, how could they trust Matty's word based on how he joined Parco's renegade regime while arming himself? I'm not buying the idea that anyone could trust Matty or would think he's providing something that any other journalist could.
Matty learns from the Free States commander that Parco is alive and in hiding. Getting past the fact that Parco is a snake, Matty confronts him. Matty holds nothing back as he brings up everything from Parco sending Matty to get the nuke to Parco just bailing out on all of the people who followed him. Not a lot of answers are given in this interaction but this is the type of closure that's needed in order to bring Matty back from being a completely unlikable character to one that can be cheered for again. This was some quality stuff.
As always the artwork presents two stories. There are the panels that deal with destruction and war and then there are the panels that deal with emotions and reactions among the characters. As you'd expect both are excellent. Parco appears to be a man beaten but not ready to give up. He's still wearing a tie but he looks a little ragged. However, no on in this issue looks trustworthy. It all adds up to a compelling visual story.
DMZ continues to be a good read. Wood is moving the pieces into place for an unpredictable ending. I recommend sitting down and reading this series if you haven't checked it out yet. I think if you are reading it then you know the quality and understand that this issue is one more step in building the tension for the grand finale.
3 out of 5 Geek Goggles