Staff Reviews

Occupy Manhattan

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The war never ends in DMZ (Vertigo), indie comic creator Brian Wood's parallel-present look at a Manhattan ripped apart by a civil war and a military occupation.

The comic, however, does end. The 72-issue series, which began in 2005, published its final collection this year. It began as a blunt metaphor for the Iraq war. Wood asked readers to imagine how they might feel if one of America's great cities were bombed, invaded, and permanently occupied by warring forces, neither of which was obviously right.

As the conflict in Iraq wound down, the series transformed into a broadside against political division. Rather than a call for unity, DMZ rallied around a cry of independence. The residents of the comic's bombed-out Manhattan squabbled endlessly among themselves, fighting over politics, resources, and territory. But they all wanted one thing: to be left alone by the dueling bands of arrogant outsiders who laid claim to their city.