DMZ's fabled "solo stories" come to a close with this month's "Citizen Zee". In this issue we get an up-close look at Zee, who's been with us since the first issue, and the challenges she faces as the zone's future is thrown into question.
This issue is all Zee, which is great. It serves as the last "solo" story before the book ends with issue 72, and gives us a look at a character that's been here the whole way. Seeing Zee in her element, unflinching towards the cruelty the DMZ has shown her, reaffirms her importance to the plot. She is an embodiment of the zone as much as any other character: the kindness she's shown to people throughout the story is both highlighted and appreciated in this issue.
The panel where there's a shelf in the New York Public Library that's full of Matty Roth's work took my breath away. I literally stood there for a second, agape, and just felt... great? The fact that Zee and Matty have gone through so much crap and that she feels his work is valuable enough to be safeguarded and kept with such fervor just made me smile. It really stands a testament to the relationship that these two characters have built.
The panel also served as a reminder of all the stories Matty has covered within the pages of DMZ; it was a little time-capsule that I could appreciate, having read it since the beginning. Readers who've been with Matty this whole ride can see the massive amount of work that he's put into the stories he's told, even though it wasn't necessarily shown in the comic. Seeing binders and binders of edited copies just made me appreciate the character a lot more: he isn't a "send the first copy out" kind of journalist.
To be honest, not much. This issue was amazing. It isn't friendly to readers who're just picking it up now, but to be honest, it's the last issue before the series' final arc; in a story that's so plot and character-heavy, you kind of need to be up to speed on things.
As the last "solo story", this issue made me feel a little weird in the pit of my stomach. As a big Brian Wood fan, I can say that this issue is one of his strongest, and made me appreciate what the character has done for the story as a whole. There is little wrong with this issue, and serves as a calm before the proverbial storm that is the last arc. While I hope Zee will have a role in that final story, this would be a fitting end to her involvement to the series. Amazing work from an amazing writer: it's a pity that DMZ is ending.