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DMZ, Vol. 1: On the Ground (DMZ #1)

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  7,604 ratings  ·  311 reviews
Set in a near future where a second American civil war rages, a lone journalist is stranded in the middle of New York City, now a brutal no-man's-land. Mirroring current events, DMZ is an unforgiving look at what a 'war on terror' can do to a civilian population.
Paperback, 126 pages
Published June 7th 2006 by Vertigo (first published 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Aug 06, 2014 Jeff rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: comix
Under the backdrop of an American Civil War between the U.S Government and the Free States, Manhattan is now a no-man’s land. Enter Matty Roth, photo journalist-intern who gets stranded in NYC. The island is an armed camp divided and subdivided by neighborhoods, streets and buildings. Colorful characters roam freely.

This has an Escape From New York meets Mister Rogers Neighborhood vibe as Matty explores NYC and meets up with a variety of armed and dangerous characters.

Mr. Rogers: Hi neighbor. I
Ok, I dunno if this was the tipping point in my education, but this was the FIRST graphic novel that actually sucked me in similar to how I immerse myself in novels. I really think it was the art that instantly hooked me. I am relieved, because I thought I would never "GET" graphic novels, but this one I HAD to know what was gonna happen next, I really was interested in the characters (and cared about them for once) and the world really drew me in. I love loved it, and I will be instantly purcha ...more
In the not-too-distant-future, a new civil war has erupted between the United States of America and the secessionist Free States Army. Both factions have declared the island of Manhattan a Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), leaving those inside to fend for themselves. An intern with Liberty News Network, Matty Roth, has elected to live in the zone and document life inside the war-torn Big Apple.

As the opening trade in a lengthy series, On The Ground does a great job establishing the conflict, as well as
Mar 04, 2008 Adam rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: comics
This was OK, but based on all the rave reviews I was expecting something more. I like the basic concept of DMZ, and will probably continue to read more of it, even though I wasn't crazy about the first volume (which comprises the first five issues of the DC/Vertigo series).

DMZ takes place in Manhattan in a near future in which Middle America (a.k.a. "The Free States") has declared war on the rest of the country (a.k.a. "The United States of America") and pushed east all the way through to New Je
Jul 02, 2011 Joseph rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Comics-fans and News-junkies
Given away (to Craig?)

I picked up this book (and the second volume) based on reading a couple very positive reviews, but when push comes to shove, I'm not too terribly impressed with it.

It's a neat idea, certainly. America is in the midst of its second civil war, and New York is right on the dividing line between the federal government and the Free States movement, with Manhattan serving as the titular demilitarized zone. But despite the many glowing reviews from a variety of major news sources
It seems odd to me that the latest batch of 'sophisticated', 'mature' titles so often leave little to the imagination, as if the reader cannot be trusted to arrive at their own conclusions. It's a shame to see such a lack of subtlety in a medium which responds so well to a light, suggestive touch. I don't want to be one of those guys who talks about how 'the old days were better', but I just find most newer titles to be lacking in depth and complexity.

In the book's opening, there is a shot of th
It's Civil War, Dude... Cool!

The concept sounds interesting enough: "With overseas wars bogging down the Army and National Guard, the U.S. government mistakenly neglects the very real threat of anti-establishment militias scattered across the United States. Like a sleeping giant, Middle America rises up, sparking a second American civil war."

The problem is this would not be a Brian Wood story if it wasn't seriously lacking in substance and trying way too hard to make up for it with hipster chara
Sam Quixote
America goes through another civil war and the line is drawn on the Eastern seaboard, the de-militarised zone is the island of Manhattan. Matty Roth, an intern for a popular news outlet, is sent to the DMZ to assist the seasoned reporters collect stories but his group are ambushed and he finds himself the sole survivor. He decides to stay and do what he can in documenting the lives of the surviving peoples on Manhattan. Welcome to DMZ.

I think Vertigo put out the best comics series out there and
What a great concept - something right out of a movie John Carpenter should have made. DMZ is ongoing series about life on Manhattan island during the second Civil War - this one a battle between the Free States (everything from New Jersey inland) and the United States (now just Brooklyn, Queens, and the rest of Long Island).

This is story of Matty Roth, a kid with connections in the still strong US media, getting a job as a cameraman for a Pulitzer prize winning journalist. Matty is left behind,
Seth Hahne
A hundred million years ago, when I was in high school, I thought war was cool. And maybe even rad. I read stories of warriors from prior eras and about the glory and honour found in a battlefield death for a good cause. I licked my chops in adulant glee while devouring films like Red Dawn and Edge of Darkness. The thought of dying and killing for the good of the homeland was a relishment. I was, in fact, a moron.

Sure, I had been sold a bill of goods, the lie that war is glorious and that dying
I really enjoyed this Volume 1 of DMZ, collecting issues 1-5. Civil War has been raging in NYC for 5+yrs now, and a kid gets the chance of a lifetime to accompany the Pulitzer-Prize winning photo-journalist into the DMZ in Manhattan and document life there. Well shit goes sour fast...our boy (Matty) finds himself flung headfirst into what's really going on there, and sees that it is nothing like what they tell the rest of the world. The story is interesting, and I always enjoy Dystopian/Post-Apo ...more
Luiz Fernando
Love the core concept, and seen as a complete series it's probably great (i'm reading it). But, as a stand alone book, the author could have ended it better (it's a chapter, doesn't have the feeling of a partial ending). The artwork is great and suits the storyline perfectly.
Still making up my mind on this one. It's an interesting world Wood creates, though we don't see much of it this early on.
Imagine the United States loses the majority of the continental US after a brutal Second American Civil War, with the remaining land of Long Island, Brooklyn, and Queens making up what’s left of the Stars and Stripes, the inland to the West (starting with New Jersey) taken over by the Free States, and Manhattan Island being a gang/tribe-infested no-man’s-land referred to as the DMZ. The latter being the setting in which photojournalist intern Matthew (Matty) Roth is dropped after an assignment g ...more
Dan's Obsessions

I returned graphic Novel last month ( tht ended up on my shelves by mistake) and well I found myself hurrying for a choice in a vast Public store, with th aid of friends.. Various choices presented there, but I was in the constant pressure of 2 friends.

Finally I found myself holding 2 choices, and recalling how I was " " in dystopian/war mongers scenarios I tuoght I might as well give it a try. But several factors left me unsutisfied.

For once, I lik'd the premise that War was moved in the U.S
I think it's safe to say I'm pretty hooked by this series already, having finished the entire first volume in about an hour. I love the way Wood just throws the reader into the series much the same as the main character, Matty Roth, is thrown into it. Matty is surprised with an assignment to enter Manhattan as an intern alongside a war journalist. When things go wrong, he's left alone to write the stories himself, chronicling life in a warzone.

The overall premise of the series is pretty huge. Am
May 14, 2009 Wealhtheow rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of Transmet
Recommended to Wealhtheow by: think galactic group
America is gripped by a vicious civil war between the United States and the Free States. NYC is caught in the middle, a perilous no-man's-land filled with ordinary citizens turned desperate survivors. Little information gets in or out of Manhattan (or the DMZ, as it's known), so a Pulitzer-winning journalist and his entourage set out to be the first. But they are shot down just as they enter the DMZ, and only the journalist's oblivious young photographer survives. Zee, the local medic, takes Mat ...more
Jul 27, 2008 Monk rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone
Shelves: required_reading
Dan recommended this book to me out of the blue sometime last year and I picked it up on the strength of said recommendation. I have not regretted it.

It's set at a time in the near future and while we were playing in the sand in the Middle East with all our forces deployed, the country experiences civil war. Fundamentalist/survivalist types form a militia that starts in the middle of the country and pushes out to both coasts. There are pockets of the old guard left though and there is one key ba
Chris X
Feb 27, 2008 Chris X rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: josh
a good read,

The main character, a whiny rich kid reporter wanna be, was not so sympathetic to my tastes. But the characters and sitiautions he encounters are excellent. And the concept of Manhattan as a DMZ zone between 2 warring versions of the Divided States, is great. Main character may evolve into a likable one as this is only volume One.

Deals a lot with the ignorance of what warfare means for the citizens caught up in the battles. Battles they may not have an interest in, yet occur in their
This is such an amazing concept. Brian Wood imagines a world where Manhattan is a demilitarized zone in a war between New Jersey (and the rest of the states) and Long Island and the other NY boroughs, which still hold the "United States" name.

Maybe because I just finished To Afghanistan and Back, this felt like an alternate history far too close.

What if a civil war had erupted post-9/11?

What if we were a war zone, like Bosnia, and other areas rife with conflict?

This explores the possibilitie
This is basically a post-apocalypse or post-collapse scenario, in NYC, and a look at how the city and its people function afterwards, as told from the perspective of a young, twentysomething inexperienced journalist.

I think the violence and language are too gratuitous, and too casual, even for a book set in a war zone. In some ways it's coming from that 'guy' mentality, and it makes the book read a little like a blockbuster action movie. But the parts that explore the city and its denizens and h
Almost gave this four stars, but I thought at points it was a bit too much screaming "DID YOU GET THE MESSAGE?" in my face. It needed to be just a bit more subtle. Overall though it's a cool set-up, with Manhattan being the DMZ in a civil war in America. The main character is an intern who is supposed to be going in to the DMZ with a seasoned journalist to report on the situation there. Only things go to hell and he gets stuck in there alone. I'm definitely interested to see where this goes in f ...more
Paul Mirek
This is an almost-flawless example of high-concept world-building in just a few issues, something even more impressive to me as I try to work out some challenges in my own writing. Matty, a photo tech intern, is dropped into a speculative-future Manhattan that serves as a DMZ between the United States of America and the secessionist Free States Army. After the journalist he's assigned to is assassinated, he faces the question of where to go next.

Wood has had some controversies attached to his na
So, in my past time in between reading books, I'm usually pointing my eyes towards a computer screen or a TV screen...or reading comics. Some people don't class comics as something to spend your time reading, thinking their just picture books for people a bit older then preschool.

I disagree. While they may not require as much thought as a novel,I think they are a required form of literature. They prove that pictures can say a thousand words, that you don't need to be seeing inside the character
Mar 03, 2008 Jessica rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jessica by: Mike
Excellent. So good, in fact, that I almost didn't go back to work from my lunch hour. Been a long time since i've considered faking a flat tire for a book. ;) An excellent story, set in Manhattan of the future, when there is a civil war going on, and a young journalism intern is left behind in the dmz. I can't wait to read the next volume! Great art, fantastic story.
Shannon Appelcline
On the Ground (1-3). I read this years ago, and I was relatively unimpressed. I think it may have been too topical / ripped-from-the-headlines. I liked it much more this time. Matty is a terrific character and his character arc is this first story is phenomenal. I'm really looking forward to seeing where the story of an embedded journalist working against the gov't goes from here … [8/10].

Shorts (4-5). “Ghosts” is an interesting look at the wider city, while “Crosstown” is a tense but ultimately
Vivid and expansively imagined, and it shows some solid research. I do wish that the authors had worked in more background information about the story, about what happened to give rise to the situation in which it's set. Maybe that will come in future volumes in the series.
Vilmos Kondor
I burnt the whole series in two weeks and I'm standing here speechless. This is one of the greatest narratives I read in the past 10-12 years. A perfect combination of a great story and fantastic artwork. These two become one after the first ten issues - and never let me down (except for the drawings of Kristian Donaldson whose talent I really couldn't appreciate.)

This is what a modern story should look like. Brave and daring ideas, forward thinking, no compromises - set against a very, very hum
Oct 01, 2012 Laurel rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
How do they do it? With so few words, and snapshot images, they give us character, heart, cultural references and a depth of story line that could rival any epic on the market today. Superb!

I'll be buying the next volume immediately!

The island of Manhattan has been declared a demilitarized zone--leaving it a no-man's land of competing factions and individuals. One news intern survives and ambush and the subsequent shooting down of the chopper that brought him to take pictures for a Pulitzer prize-winning a**hole.

The first volume of DMZ follows him on his journey to survive and to then understand this place that no-one truly controls except for the few blocks or feet around a group or individual. Not much time is spent on th
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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 12 books)
  • DMZ, Vol. 2: Body of a Journalist
  • DMZ, Vol. 3: Public Works
  • 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
DMZ, Vol. 2: Body of a Journalist DMZ, Vol. 4: Friendly Fire DMZ, Vol. 3: Public Works Local Northlanders, Vol. 1: Sven the Returned

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