DMZ 7: War Powers; kick-ass war comic on journalism and advocacy

War Powers is the seventh collection of Brian Wood's ground-breaking war-comic DMZ, which tells the tale of a civil war in America that turns Manhattan into a free-fire zone trapped between US and rebel troops and mercenaries from Trustwell, a thinly veiled version of Blackwater or Halliburton. The story follows Matty Roth, who begins as an intern for a cable-news network, trapped in the DMZ after the newschopper is shot down, but who becomes the only truly independent journalist in Manhattan.

Only now, Matty's independence is crumbling. Under the influence of Parco Delgado — a charismatic gang-leader who wins a surprise victory in an NYC election that was meant to give legitimacy to the USA's hand-picked Paul Bremmer figure — Matty now finds himself playing the role of political operator, putting his ethics and his life on the line in the service of something he clearly hopes is justice.

As with previous volumes, War Powers grabbed me by the scruff of the neck and didn't let go until I turned the last page. Brian Wood is exploring the place where journalism and advocacy intersect (or collide), and in so doing, he is holding up an important mirror on our own times.

DMZ is my favorite graphic novel since Transmetropolitan, a relentless adventure story, a sharp political allegory, and a damned good read.

DMZ Vol. 7: War Powers

Previous collections:
Vol 1: On the Ground,
Vol 2: Body of a Journalist,
Vol 3: Public Works,
Vol 4: Friendly Fire,
Vol 5: The Hidden War,
Vol 6: Blood in the Game,
Vol 7: War Powers