DMZ 6: Blood in the Game, the vote comes to Manhattan

I've just finished Blood in the Game, the sixth collection in Brian Wood's remarkable comic book series DMZ, a nail-biting, blood-boiling story of America gripped by civil war and the cynics who profit from it.

America's civil war has its front lines in Manhattan, in the DMZ where the Free States (separatist militiamen), the USA and its military contractor, Trustwell (a stand-in for Halliburton or Blackwater) all clash. For years, Matty Roth, a roving reporter who has an on-again/off-again relationship with Liberty News (think Fox News) has cataloged the human cost of the manipulative, cynical profiteering on all sides of the conflict, but now he's even more in the thick of it than ever.

It's election season in the DMZ. New York will elect its own governor and become independent -- supposedly. In reality, it appears that the fix is in, with the USA prepared to install a "Paul Bremer wannabe" as a puppet ruler. Then Parco Delgado, a street-fighting charismatic (derided as "a cross between Al Sharpton and Che Guevara") throws his hat in to the ring, declaring himself to be the real choice of the people. Matty is swept up in populist fervor (only slightly dimmed when he discovers that the Delgado Nation has hired his estranged mother, a left-wing political operative, to run the campaign) and breaks with Liberty News just as an unsuccessful assassination attempt puts Delgado in hospital.

A story about the limits of democracy and the power of populism, about the role of the press and the bravery of the voter, Blood in the Game furthers the fantastic work that Wood has done thus far on his story set in an utterly plausible America at war with itself. This is the kind of storytelling I read comics for.

DMZ Vol. 6: Blood in the Game

DMZ Vol. 5: The Hidden War

DMZ Vol. 4: Friendly Fire

DMZ Vol. 3: Public Works

DMZ Vol. 2: Body of a Journalist

DMZ Vol. 1: On the Ground


  1. I love this series, the best comic I’ve read for ages. Looking forward to sitting down with this this weekend.

  2. I’ve been following the comic for a while, and this is definitely one of the best storylines so far. The narrative has really evolved beyond the Escape from New York/Warriors elements that made the first episodes so interesting.

  3. Awesome writing as always. Brian Wood is fast becoming one of my must-read authors (although I’m not entirely convinced by Northlanders yet – anyone got any recommendations on that?)

  4. @TYNAM

    Have you read the Lindisfarne two parter (#9 and #10), it’s my favourite part of the series. Though I agree with you that while very good, Northlanders doesn’t have quite the kick as Wood’s other series (DMZ, Demo, Local).

    DMZ is IMO the best ongoing series out there, War Powers (the next story arc) is just amazing, the amount of growth the setting and the characters have undergone during the series is nothing short of remarkable.

  5. With Volume 5 I was thinking they’d run out of steam but 6 renews my faith. I also think the main artist is just fantastic…his renderings of the main characters really brings something essential to them.

    More than that, it kind of reminds you of some of what made NYC so vital in the chaotic, violent 70s and 80s.

    Love this series.

  6. @Keeper of the Lantern

    I completely agree – I was disappointed with V5, but I’ll be grabbing V6 as soon as I can!

  7. This looks very interesting! Should i buy this, folks?

    I’m guessing I should start at #1? (DMZ: On the Ground?)

  8. @11: Alright, it’s in the mail. ETA: 2-4 days.

    This better rock my sox, boingboing!

  9. That should read “after those” not “after that”.

    As in plural volumes that are out.

  10. $75….it’s for a good cause so I don’t mind, but I be broke yo.

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