As Comic Con winds down, I’m here to give you my last comic series recommendation/review.  If you’re not that familiar with comics, I hope you’ve seen a series or two that’s caught your eye.  Not all comics are about superheroes and people with powers.  Many of today’s comic series are dramatic, thought-provoking reads that rival (or are many times better than) what’s on the bestseller list.  I hope you’ll give one of these graphic novels a try next time you’re looking for something good to read.

DMZ written by Brian Wood

DMZ is set in New York City, where photography intern Matty Roth, is thrust in the middle of America’s second civil war that has turned the island of Manhattan into a demilitarized zone.  Matty, now the only reporter in the DMZ, tries to make sense of the war and report the truth, as both sides of the war, the federal government and the “Free State” armies, conspire, lie, and attempt to use Matty as their pawn.

Living in New York, I was a huge fan of the concept of DMZ.  Wood and his co-creator and artist Riccardo Burchielli have imagined a horrific, fascinating vision of NYC.  A friend at work and I often hypothesize apocalypse exit strategies and “what if” catastrophe scenarios (because we’re strange and morbid that way) and DMZ is like seeing one of those conversations come to life.  Wood tackles moral issues, politics, religion, wartime ethics—nothing is clear cut, but every issue makes you think.  Like Scalped, DMZ can get very dark, but that’s what makes it so unique and fascinating.  Wood has created a world that makes you think about things on a global and personal level.  In later volumes Wood seems to get bogged down by political and social commentary at the detriment to characters, making it a slight struggle to get through for me, but I still enjoyed every volume.  Matty’s transformation from the boy who was left in the DMZ to the world-weary report that struggles to find something or someone to believe in is difficult to witness because seeing the chaos in this world gone mad, even I felt helpless and struggled to make sense of it all.  DMZ isn’t a complete downer though.  Matty is a realistic protagonist and the characters that fill the DMZ are intriguing and full of surprises.

I can’t end my Comic Con recs without mentioning two other series that I adore: Buffy the Vampire, Season 8, which is a MUST for any Buffy fan, and Umbrella Academy, a bizarrely brilliant series that the A.V. Club calls “…part X-Men and part The Royal Tenenbaums…”  I wish I could write full reviews on all my favorite series, but I assure you both of these books are well-worth a read.

Oh, and I can’t believe I forgot to ask this until this last post, but are there any good comic series you guys would recommend?

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