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DMZ, Vol. 3: Public Works (DMZ #3)

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  4,010 Ratings  ·  108 Reviews
In Volume 3, collecting issues 13-17, Matty severs his ties to the Liberty News and becomes a free agent. He soon finds himself in over his head as he goes undercover and infiltrates a terrorist cell determined to disrupt any and all construction sites trying to rebuild the city.
Paperback, 128 pages
Published September 5th 2007 by Vertigo (first published September 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jan Philipzig
I don’t know, every single Brian Wood comic book seems to be about some kind of young, tough, sexy, street-smart hipster who looks very cool in a gritty world. Why the world is such a gritty place never seems to matter much, it’s just background designed to make our young hipster look as tough and sexy and cool as possible.

In the case of DMZ, young, buff, independent hipster reporter Matty (who has sex with a sexy media chick named Zee) looks very tough and cool and sexy amidst the ruins of a ci
Oct 16, 2014 Jeff rated it liked it
Shelves: comix
This is a big step back for a series I was really starting to like.

Brian Wood mines recent current events to try and squeeze a story about a Blackwater-like privateer called Trustwell into his series about a future American Civil War. Journalist Matty Roth goes undercover to infiltrate a terrorist cell and in turn exposes one of the most rickety, head-slapper plot contrivances I’ve come across in quite some time. It stretches the bounds of credulity (within the logical confines of this series)
Jun 26, 2013 Brent rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Vertigo Comics fans
Recommended to Brent by: Atlanta-Fulton Public Library, Ponce DeLeon Branch
Shelves: comics, fiction, sf
Ok, I love that I can find Vertigo volumes at my public library, because I read this entire five issue/chapter volume/installment in one night.
The future world, a dystopia, created by Wood and artist Burchielli is dark and close to our own. In this volume, the protagonist does participant observation within a corrupt military contractor. It's ok, but tortured and melodramatic rather than journalistic. The color scheme, too, is dark, and prints a little too grey, with a lot of dirty black tones:
Corto Maltese
Aug 10, 2015 Corto Maltese rated it really liked it
This is the first volume with a really gripping storyline. While the first two volumes were (though still enjoyable) a bit of a bumpy ride to me, this volume is easily the best written until now.
My library had only the first three volumes available when I got my last bulk, but after this one I am along for the ride (wasn't so sure after the first two books).
Jul 16, 2009 Wealhtheow rated it did not like it
A barely disguised rant about Blackwater. Matty is so buff and hardcore! He has sex with teenaged Arabs! He stands up to torture for days! Everyone thinks he is the coolest thing ever!

This is racist, sexist, Islamophobic trash, and it should never have been published. Brian Wood may mouth liberal sentiments about freedom, but his writing is pretty sick.
Sep 06, 2010 Felicia rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Didn't LOVE this one as much as the first two. Kinda so veiled with Blackwater, I felt like the analogy was a bit too on the nose. Still a fan.
Aug 10, 2013 Gavin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
The story is jacked up here from the end of Volume 2. Trustwell (A stand-in for Blackwater) is introduced here, the private military company with high connections in the US government, is given the contract to clean-up the DMZ, under the supervision of a UN peacekeeping force.
Trying to get a story on Trustwell and what's really going on, Matty finds himself working undercover for them and running into all kinds of shit: terror cells, bombings, more kidnapping, beatings, torture, further manipul
Dec 14, 2007 Albert rated it did not like it
Easily the weakest of the 3 volumes so far released. The previous 2 volumes were very good at trying to show what it must be like to live in no-man's land such as present-day Iraq through a gorgeous portrayal of a devastated New York. But here, the metaphor becomes too shrill. Don't get me wrong, I am the last person to defend the practices of military contractors such as Halliburton and Blackwater but their counterparts in "Public Works" were pure caricatures.
Matt Buchholz
Oct 19, 2008 Matt Buchholz rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: story setting junkies
Shelves: comics-read
I'm bored of this series again. A lot of this got skimmed more than read and the art seems to getting sloppier. The setting of NY as a war-zone is still interesting, but fully fleshed out character here and there would be nice.
The book has picked up a bit. There are double crosses and corporate espionage and the forging of friendships.The war is slowing down now but there are new things on the horizon.
Austin Zook
Jan 11, 2017 Austin Zook rated it really liked it
Marty goes undercover to find out more about Trustwell, the company overseeing reconstruction of New York's most famous landmarks, and ends up joining a terrorist cell funded by TW and ruining someone's life by doing the right thing. Tense, thought-provoking installment in one of the best comic series I've ever read.
Mark CC
Oct 28, 2016 Mark CC rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
This volume finally got into some straightforward obvious allegory for something topical. Halliburton really was bad news!
J.G. Keely
Jul 07, 2012 J.G. Keely rated it it was ok
Shelves: comics, reviewed
Starting a story is almost always the same: I take ideas for characters, stories, themes, and moments, and I write them down. I describe what the characters are thinking, how the unfolding plot affects them. I mark down a sequence of events, moving from one to the next, making sure each one is important, and that they all lead somewhere. I write up themes and philosophies, how they operate, and how the story relies on them.

Then I sit back and sigh, because after all that work, I still haven't wr
Jan 08, 2017 Patrick rated it liked it
I've read 1,2,3, and 12 in the series so far. This issue has been my least favorite.
Alex Murphy
For me the DMZ series, has always been a better idea and setting than in its execution. The idea of a second American civil war and New York as a Demilitarized zone is very interesting. But after the reading the first two this adds nothing new in terms of plot, we still have no real motivation for the rebelling Free States, which what I can get is a kind of mix between a right wing militia with a large left-wing bias – which given the state of politics today seems stupid, and given the author ve ...more
Jun 24, 2016 Michael rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
This was definitely not quite a well-written as the previous two volumes of DMZ. Wood tackles the prevalance of corporate contractors in a war zone - specifically Trustwell Industries in Manhattan. Now, this is certainly a timely, pertinent subject for any exploration of war in the present, or the near future, as we've seen an enormous growth and exposure of the military-industrial complex. It's an important question to ask, which Wood does - who's running the war, the government who sponsors it ...more
Nov 05, 2013 Aaron rated it liked it
I'm struggling with what to rate this volume, but coming off of the stellar 2nd entry, I feel like I have to give this one slightly less. While I was still very much hooked by the series as a whole, a lot of this storyline felt pretty poorly planned. This time around, having fully developed the duplicitous nature of all sides involved in the war, we're introduced to some elements analogous to real-world terrorism and Halliburton. Only, they never quite made sense to me.

Matty gets involved with a
Sep 16, 2009 Du4 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
PUBLIC WORKS is the first DMZ story that I think stumbles a little. Wood uses this story to explore the issue of government outsourcing to contractors here, using Trustwell as the mythic conglomeration of all the bad stories you've heard about Blackwater, DynCorp, Triple Canopy, etc.... except deployed to rebuild New York City's infrastructure on the U.S. dime.

Like most stories I read about "evil contractors," this one instantly assumes that they're all bad and they all do bad things. This seems
May 23, 2012 Vincent rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novel
Cory Doctorow hits the nail on the head when he says in the introduction to Volume 3 that

"DMZ is a special kind of angry comic, the kind of angry war comic that tells the story of the other side in the war. Non-combatants aren't just cannon fodder or collateral damage. We've got every bit as much agency, as much control over our destinies, as the guys with the guns and the satellite photos. But you wouldn't know it from how we're depicted in the press -- instead we're the bodies blown apart on
Jan 29, 2015 Sean rated it really liked it
Another fine volume, though it lacks the sharp direction and focus of the first two trades. With such a tremendous supporting cast already established, Brian Wood may have overextended a bit, introducing a whole new roster for Matty to interact with. The new faces really pale in comparison. Amina, the only one I could imagine making a return visit, is so shallow and indecisive, it's hard to comprehend how she manages to survive at all. It's also an unusually linear storyline. Books one and two m ...more
Mikael Kuoppala
Nov 24, 2012 Mikael Kuoppala rated it it was amazing
Brian Wood's clever and daring saga about America's future civil war has reached its third volume. This time the protagonist, reporter Matty, infiltrates a cell of fanatical terrorists. Wood delivers a shocking and heavy analysis on fundamentalist loyalty, violence and self destructiveness associated with terrorism in general and suicide bombings in particular. I haven't seen this direct depiction of a suicide attack from the viewpoint of the committee since the shocking storyline from the begin ...more
Andrea Meijomil
Este ha sido hasta ahora el peor de los volúmenes que he leído. La historia sobre la corrupción de las empresas que trabajan en el DMZ me paree interesante pero la trama estaba demasiado enrevesada y no muy bien explicada. El tema de las empresas americanas trabajando en zonas de guerra se explica de forma demasiado vaga y general como en un intento de decir "mira que malos son" pero sin profundizar en causas o tonos de grises.

Desde el principio me di cuenta de que esta saga era puro entretenimi
Jul 20, 2013 Mike rated it it was ok
I read comics really fast, so I have a rule for myself when it comes to comics and Goodreads that I have to read a comic collection twice before I write about it here. Public Works is the first time I'm breaking that rule, because I honestly don't want to read it again.

In volumes 1 and 2, DMZ was interesting stuff, looking at the media, the US, and the military through the lens of militarized New York City. Public Works adds a thinly-fictionalized Blackwater/Xe to the mix, but the results are he
Sep 01, 2008 Elizabeth rated it liked it
Recommended to Elizabeth by: Maria
In the final issue of the previous arc, we hears a news broadcast announcing: "The U.S. has awarded a reconstruction project for key Manhattan infrastructure sites to Trustwell, Inc., a firm with longstanding ties to the military. Trustwell's played a major role in rebuilding Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia, as well as post-hurricane Gulf states. The protests and complaints still came quickly from the usual quarters, citing Trustwell's past history of corruption and violence. Trustwell typically ...more
Bryce Holt
Jul 12, 2012 Bryce Holt rated it really liked it
Solid as hell and a great story, but compared to the last installment, I felt that I was stuck in a kind of already-tread story. There were a couple of really eye-opening scenes here and some turns at the very end that I simply wasn't expecting, which made me read this all in one sitting. But compared to the previous installment, "Body of a Journalist" (which I thought was phenomenal), I felt this lacked a bit of the city vibe I was coming to love.

Compared to almost any other graphic novel seri
Mar 29, 2009 Erik rated it really liked it
When the going gets good, the good gets going. Which is exactly what this remarkably original dystopian fantasy of a future American gone awry does best. Fresh off the last story-arc, Public Works puts photojournalist Matty Roth into the thick of thieves – or more precisely, homegrown terrorists operating in the DMZ. Roth’s loyalty is tested in a manner rendered to better effect by Alan Moore in V for Vendetta; but gripping nonetheless. The ever-shifting alliances in the demilitarized island kno ...more
Neon Snake
Aug 10, 2015 Neon Snake rated it it was ok
Something a mis-step; it's too on-the-nose to truly resonate, and too stereotyped to be taken seriously. Some of the subtlety previously portrayed in the series is lost here, and the characters (Matty in particular) are slightly unrecognisable.

What could have been sharp ends up being clumsy, Trustwell is too obvious, the suicide bomber's disappointment is too obvious, and Matty is, well - the guy's not meant to be brave in a physical sense, he's meant to be brave in an idealogical sense.

It feel
Reprints DMZ #13-17. Matty goes undercover in a DMZ rebuilding commission and finds himself involved with a terrorist cell. DMZ raises interesting questions and does a much better job with the idea of a "rogue" journalist than Transmetropolitan. Spider took journalism to the extreme to prove points (and pretty much just served as a mouthpiece for Ellis to spout off) while Matty's character takes a more realistic and moral approach to his work. It isn't really fair to compare the two series since ...more
Aug 17, 2011 Chris rated it really liked it
Another great addition to the series. Public Works covers the pitfalls of governments using private contractors for war efforts. The story mirrors things we've seen happen in our world, from security contractors killing civilians to construction contractors making ridiculous profits off of the destruction while employing folks way below anything remotely acceptable, but it throws a conspiratorial twist in the mix - something that could (and has in different forms) happen for real. Definitely a m ...more
Mar 01, 2014 Robert rated it it was ok
The third in the DMZ series and what a twister we have here. With U.N. Forces, private security firms, terrorists, reporters and who knows what other factions thrown into the mix. Here is a hint for those looking for an easy explanation: Look at the back of the book on the lower half. There a person will find a few short paragraphs that explains the whole book. Even the artwork is a bit flashy and blurs the lines a bit. Overall not terribly bad. Hopefully this one will get better with the next i ...more
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Multiple Eisner Award-nominee Brian Wood released his first series, Channel Zero, to considerable critical acclaim in 1997 and has gone on to create hard-hitting original series such as DMZ, Northlanders, The Couriers, and The Massive. He’s also written some of the biggest titles in pop culture, with work on Star Wars, Conan The Barbarian, Lord Of The Rings and The X-Men. He lives with his wife an ...more
More about Brian Wood...

Other Books in the Series

DMZ (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • DMZ, Vol. 1: On the Ground
  • DMZ, Vol. 2: Body of a Journalist
  • DMZ, Vol. 4: Friendly Fire
  • DMZ, Vol. 5: The Hidden War
  • DMZ, Vol. 6: Blood in the Game
  • DMZ, Vol. 7: War Powers
  • DMZ, Vol. 8: Hearts and Minds
  • DMZ, Vol. 9: M.I.A.
  • DMZ, Vol. 10: Collective Punishment
  • DMZ, Vol. 11: Free States Rising

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