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DMZ, Vol. 4: Friendly Fire (DMZ #4)

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4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  3,900 Ratings  ·  110 Reviews
America's worst nightmare has come true. Having neglected the threat of anti-establishment militias, the U.S. government is in danger of losing control. Middle America has violently risen up, coming to a standstill at Manhattan or, as the world now knows it, the DMZ. Matty Roth, a naïve, aspiring photojournalist lands a dream gig following a veteran war journalist into the ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published March 5th 2008 by Vertigo (first published March 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jan Philipzig
As you may recall, protagonist Matty generally looks excellent amidst the ruins of New York City. He’s the cool, tough, handsome type, you see, though not necessarily the brightest bulb on the porch. Which is unfortunate, as it's Matty’s smarts the reader ultimately relies on when it comes to making sense of the story.

Coming into this fourth volume, the only thing journalist Matty has been able to figure out is that “this is a war of extremes pushing against each other”--whatever the hell that m
...more
J.G. Keely
Jul 07, 2012 J.G. Keely rated it liked it
Shelves: comics, reviewed
This is the most interesting volume of DMZ so far, because the structure of the story forces Wood out of his standard voice. By choosing to do a Rashomon story (or a Jose Chung's, depending on your specialty), Wood ensures that each character in the story has a different view and different voice, because the whole story is based on the idea that everyone sees events in different ways.

I only wish that he had been differentiating his characters and their points-of-view this much right from the beg
...more
Peter Derk
Jul 30, 2013 Peter Derk rated it liked it
DMZ is a book of real highs and lows for me.

The lows come in because sometimes I'm straight-up lost in the plot. Which I think is common. Because a lot of the plots revolve around big conspiracies with double-crosses and unknown entities, how is a person ever going to keep it all straight?

The highs are situations like the end of this volume. In essence, a lot of bullshit is blamed on the wrong guy, a soldier in this case. And I think that's where DMZ speaks to something very real and true.

The bi
...more
Felicia
Sep 06, 2010 Felicia rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Enjoyed this a lot, more than #3. I thought it dealt with really interesting issues from some objective viewpoints, raised more questions than answers and I think that was the goal, and they did it really well. Provocative and artistic.
Indika De Silva
Oct 18, 2014 Indika De Silva rated it it was amazing
My favorite DMZ volume to date.

The story depicts the ugly side of war and how the innocent are the ultimate victims regardless of the consequences.

This story moved me.

Now to Volume 5...
Mark CC
Nov 02, 2016 Mark CC rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
I appreciated the turn here towards what felt like an actual grounding of the storytelling. It's certainly the best volume so far.
Mike
Jan 01, 2014 Mike rated it really liked it
Brian Wood is the kind of writer I find persistently frustrating. I've read his work in several different series, most notably Northlanders, and I find that I always walk away from his work hooked on the story but let down by the characters. Wood is extremely inventive as a writer, which is evident in this volume of his series DMZ, his sense of setting, pacing, and resolution are top notch. The problem? I never really care about his main characters.

Friendly Fire is a great case in point. This vo
...more
Dawn Rutherford
Oct 02, 2016 Dawn Rutherford rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novel
This series is so great. Political, heartbreaking, and exciting.
Du4
Sep 16, 2009 Du4 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
FRIENDLY FIRE is Wood's chance to tell the story of the mythic Day 204, the day in which U.S. soldiers slaughtered 204 New York natives during a peace protest. It's a tough story to read, and Wood deserves kudos for portraying the different perspectives so well. I was particularly impressed with his portrayals of U.S. soldiers and how they are trained to do exactly what many are being vilified for in Iraq and Afghanistan now: kill people.

The greatest part of this story is that the event itself b
...more
Gavin
Aug 25, 2013 Gavin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
This series is REALLY taking off at this point. Vol 3 was fantastic and this one is no different.
Matty is investigating a massacre of civilian peace protestors near the start of the war that took place before he was in the DMZ.
The plot is really spot on in regards to the warrior culture of the US, and how the economy runs on war, the one thing that the nation excels at. In the aftermath of 198 citizens being gunned down by their own government, a shift took place, that lost the USA the moral nig
...more
Michael
Jun 27, 2008 Michael rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
This volume was definitely better than the 3rd volume, Public Works. Wood follows up his less than successful attempt at exposing the corruption of contractors during wartime, with a well crafted tale about the ravages of war on a community and a young man in particular.

Private Stevens, a nobody from nowheresville South Dakota gets forced into the army and thrown into the thick of things in the DMZ. His unit is out on patrol on a rainy day and a mass of hooded marches walks passed them. Stevens
...more
Aaron
Nov 09, 2013 Aaron rated it liked it
Still wasn't quite as into this one as I was volumes 1 and 2. It's undeniable that the artwork and Wood's overall writing are solid, and he has a true knack for keeping you engaged in the world. However, there's a lot of attempts at finding moral grey areas in this one, and I didn't feel like they quite worked. The plot plays out in a Rashomon style: early in the new US Civil War, hundreds of peace protesters were mowed down by some overworked, over-wired US soldiers in the middle of Manhattan. ...more
Angela
May 04, 2013 Angela rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
The thing about the DMZ series is that, every time I pick it up, I pick it up as a last resort. I'm like, fine, I guess I can read this now. And I'm always annoyed at the start of each story arc, but then surprised by how much it pulls me in. This arc, Friendly Fire, is a good example.

In general, I tire of the relentless, macho, apocalyptic woe of this series - I tire of the "fucking fuck!"s and brains/intestines everywhere and the never-ending cynicism. People have lauded this series as making
...more
Cameron
Mar 28, 2013 Cameron rated it really liked it
This is a brilliant story, and the DMZ universe is the perhaps the only place the mechanics of an accidental civillain massacre can be blown open and shown for what they are. This would have been a 5 star except for some art issues.

You know PFC Stevens is in for a bad time from the start - from the wrong place, in the army for the wrrong reasons, ill-adapted to the region and born to take the blame for the savvy career soldiers and officers around him.

When things go wrong on Day 204 of the conf
...more
Monk
Sep 02, 2008 Monk rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphicnovel
Another good installment in the DMZ story, covering an atrocity that occurred early in the war for New York after a 198 person peace march turned into a government spurred massacre. The tribunals are being heard at this point in the story's progression, and photojournalist Matty Roth is there to cover it. As with any war, there are many sides to the massacre and in the end, everything is political.

There were o9nly two things that got me about the story. The first was a perceived change in flow.
...more
Andrea Meijomil
Tras el bajón considerable que supuso Obras Públicas, Fuego Amigo vuelve a recuperar el nivel de las primeras entregas y nos trae una reflexión sobre la responsabilidad en la guerra. En esta ocasión, la trama se centra en la investigación y juicio en torno al llamado día 204, día en el que las tropas del ejército americano masacraron a 197 personas que participaban en una manifestación pacífica. A lo largo de la historia iremos conociendo los distintos puntos de vista de los involucrados y ...more
Ryan Smith
Jun 19, 2008 Ryan Smith rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone, especially Americans.
Absolutely incredible addition to the series. The Woods' writing has gone to a new level and per usual the artwork is tight, gritty and immersing. To use a cliche, DMZ continues to pull no punches: War Is Hell. It's hard to find any work that has more wholly walked so satisfyingly away from sentimentality, even when it comes to the horrors of war.

Who is innocent? Is anyone? Who doesn't have blood on their hands, just, unjust, in between? The confusion and complexities of war, especially a civil
...more
Mike
Aug 03, 2013 Mike rated it really liked it
After a sudden drop in volume 3, DMZ comes roaring back with Friendly Fire, an arc looking back into the history of the war as a US soldier is brought before a military tribunal to answer for his role in a massacre of unarmed (or were they?) protesters. It's a strong story, with Matty trapped between two opposing narratives of the event, and unsure of who to believe. I'm not sure the writing quite measures up to this, though, as the book spends a lot of time building sympathy for Stevens, the ...more
Brad
Jun 22, 2008 Brad rated it really liked it
The fourth volume of the war for New York looks back at the "Day 204" atrocity that led to the simmering ceasefire between the U.S. and the Free States. Brian Wood focuses the story on reporter Matty Roth trying to figure out who's to blame for 204... but his investigation doesn't really get anywhere.
I think the storytelling is gripping (and a clear analogy to the Abu Ghraib and Pat Tillman scandals that didn't land very many in jail), but doesn't quite pay off in the end since Roth doesn't make
...more
Mike Jozic
Jan 15, 2012 Mike Jozic rated it it was amazing
After finishing the fourth volume in this series I can only conclude that Brian Wood is one of the best writers currently working in American comics. I am continually surprised, stunned, thrilled and often touched by these characters and this world that Wood, and absolutely stellar artist Riccardo Burchielli, have created. They pull no punches in this series and the 'good guys' and the 'bad guys' often change depending on the circumstances. It is very real and very complex storytelling that ...more
Elizabeth
Sep 01, 2008 Elizabeth rated it liked it
Recommended to Elizabeth by: Maria
This 5-issue arc is all one self-contained story -- about the "Day 204" massacre. Matt is tapped to do official interviews for the military tribunal investigating the incident (which happened three years ago) and of course does a number of unofficial interviews as well. The story shows the futility of seeking "truth" and "justice" in a situation like this and further raises the question of what exactly is this America everyone's fighting for, and if it even still exists.

While interesting enough
...more
David Bales
May 23, 2010 David Bales rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2010
Part four in the excellent graphic novel serialization of the "civil war" between the U.S.A. and the "Free States of America", locked in a stalemate at the DMZ which runs between Long Island and New Jersey, (Manhattan being a no-go zone for either side.) More insight on the beginnings of "the war" are explained, with the massacre of 198 peace protesters on "Day 204" of the conflict and the loss of the moral high ground by the U.S. as world opinion shifts against the government and towards a ...more
Brian
Aug 05, 2013 Brian rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
This installment wasn't as great as the one just prior, in part because the storyline was just too simplistic. A nice little riff on various massacres the U.S. military has engaged in from time to time (My Lai comes to mind) but I did not feel like this brought anything original to the fore like Public Works did. I still enjoyed it and this is clearly a powerful series, but I'll hope the next chapter in the saga has a bit more thought and nuance that others (Public Works, Body of a Journalist) ...more
Jen
Mar 15, 2008 Jen rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: 100% of the American populace and then some.
This series is my current favorite overall. It is the best American critique inside a very plausible near future structure. Great content on the nature of war, on the capacity for people to survive, on how people perceive truth or falsehood in storytelling/journalism. Vol. 4 returns to being a strong sideline to the main storyline of embedded journalist Matty. I don't want to give a heap of spoilers because I think most of the series has virtues for each individual that make it worth reading. ...more
Loyd
May 06, 2009 Loyd rated it really liked it
If I hadn't seen the other DMZ books in the series on my comic shop's shelves, I would have been satisfied with this as one complete four-book narrative. Brian Wood and company do a great job of deepening the story and depicting the subtle fatalism of the situation. It really puts you in a frame of mind to begin to understand what life in an occupied country must be like -- scary, hopeless, but with cracks in the wall where love and some degree of normalcy sneak through.
Michael
Sep 10, 2008 Michael rated it really liked it
DMZ is a real favorite of mine with the current political climate.

I appreciated the deepening of the character/background of the Free States movement. Around the same time I saw Jesse Ventura's speech (parts one and two) from Ron Paul's RNC-alternative Rally for the Republic convention, when I noticed a few connections.
James
The artwork is a bit different in style from the previous three volumes, not for the better - it's more crudely done. I'm still giving it five stars because the storyline more than compensates for that. We keep learning more about the backgrounds of key characters and seeing how the events in the story are changing them, and there's added cultural depth. This is one of those series I'm going to be sorry to finish.
Neon Snake
Aug 10, 2015 Neon Snake rated it really liked it
After the disappointment of volume 3, this comes as a welcome relief.

It's a much more nuanced tale, of the day when the war came to a grinding halt, and explores all sides of a civilian massacre committed my the military. It really does do a good job of painting the event in shades of grey - and does it very convincingly, showing the frustration that Matty is feeling in trying to tease a solid story out of the events, in trying to forge a meaningful opinion.

Really good.
Justin
Jul 02, 2008 Justin rated it it was amazing
Amazing. Simply Amazing.

This series started off a little slow in my opinion (as slow as a civil war fought in NYC can start off) but writer Brian Wood has really hit his stride with this volume.

An absolutely chilling, wretched story about the horrors and ambiguities that surround the atrocities of war. The final few pages sent chills down my spine as I was in shock. Everything that someone should read before pronouncing war as the answer.
Rahadyan
In this arc of the dystopian series set in New York City of the near future, the protagonist Matty Roth conducts interviews with an enlisted soldier who is apparently the scapegoat for a massacre at a protest rally. From the young grunt's perspective, the readers learn how the war of the DMZ came about. Highly recommended as part of the series, though not the best jumping-on point for readers new to DMZ.
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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 ...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. 3: Public Works
  • 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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