Brian Wood's DMZ, vol 11: a long tale nears its worthy conclusion

Free States Rising is the 11th (and penultimate) collection of Brian Wood's masterful (anti-)war comic, DMZ. Wood has spent the past half-decade spinning this tightly plotted, gripping, and sardonic adventure story about a second American civil war fought in Manhattan, told from the point-of-view of Matty Roth, a reporter who becomes part of the story. DMZ is a textbook example of how science fiction can provide just enough distance between the real world and the reader to allow for a critique that is trenchant, but never strident. So here in volume 11, we have drone-wars, austerity, conspiracy and crass media manipulation, and it's all allegorical as hell, but since none of it constitutes an actual accusation about the actual world with its actual wars, it's possible to consider it all at arm's length and realize a) how profoundly screwed up Wood's world is, and b) how like our own it is.

If you've been following DMZ for all these years, volume 11 will not disappoint, as Wood crashes towards what promises to be a tremendous finish. This volume also contains a two-part short prequel to the series, explaining something of the origin of the "Free States Army," one of the factions in the DMZ story. Here's my reviews of the previous volumes.

DMZ Vol. 11: Free States Rising


  1. Wood’s DMZ is awesome.  I’ve been a faithful reader since you recommended Vol. 1–thanks Cory.

    The scary/sad thing is that the U.S. has edged closer not further to Wood’s vision since Vol. 1 came out back in 2006.

  2. I quit reading the series somewhere around #50 — while I appreciate Wood’s willingness to take a risk and turn Matty into a fairly unlikable character, it made the book harder for me to enjoy, and even as the situation on the ground kept changing it felt like he was still spinning the same wheels.

    I still definitely consider myself a Brian Wood fan, and I’m quite enjoying his Conan (with artist Becky Cloonan, which gives me the opportunity to use the phrase “Cloonan Conan”) so far.

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