By Brian Wood (writer), Riccardo Burchielli, Nathan Fox, Viktor Kalvachev, Kristian Donaldson (art), Jeremy Cox (colors)
To sum things up, Friendly Fire is Brian Wood’s version of Rashomon. We have a horrific event taking place where hundreds of silent protestors in the DMZ are killed in a bloody massacre by US forces. And while it’s hard to tell who instigated the hostilities, there’s no way to deny the loss of life. It’s a PR nightmare for the United States, who intends to hold a tribunal against the soldiers caught in this mess. Because of his experience within the DMZ, Matty is tapped to investigate and report his own separate findings.
Most of this book follows Matty as he interviews a handful of soldiers, survivors, and even top brass regarding the events of the now infamous “Day 204”. With so many contradictory reports, it’s hard for him to draw his own conclusions. Eventually, he realizes that there’s no real winner to this outcome. The people within the DMZ want their own version of justice. If the soldiers involved are put to death, does it really quench the thirst for justice? Will it really change the outcome?
The questions (and answers) posed by Brian Wood are ones to be pondered. Reflecting many current events happening in the middle east, it’s hard not to distinguish the parallels this story draws. As much as I hate using the “social commentary” term, that’s exactly what this book is about, and it does it so well. The scary thing is, if continued down our current economic path, it’s very easy to see this country falling into the same trappings of the country portrayed in this book. Do yourself a favor and pick this trade up. It’s not the best DMZ story, but it’s one of the most profound. (Grade: A-)
– J. Montes