DMZ 14

Grace Under Torture

Excuse the title. It's a play on Hemingway's definition of courage: "Grace under pressure". In issue 14 of DMZ, the second part of the Public Works storyline, our undercover reporter Matty Roth is captured and subjected to a bout of torture. Let's see, he's stripped, put inside a meat freezing chamber, they douse him with water so that he really gets cold. They dunk him under water, almost drowning him. Of course there are the beatings; and in the end they make him kneel and put a gun to his head.

***spoiler alert***

He's been tough throughout, but in the end, when he knows he's going to die, he breaks down and talks. His captors reveal themselves to be his terrorist "buddies", they smile at him, and tell him he passed the test.

Why did he pass the test? He talked in the end when he thought he was going to die didn't he? Isn't that failing the test?

Then it occurs to me. It isn't. For a man to go through what Matty went through without breaking is enough. It's too much to ask of someone to keep perfect silence even under imminent death. That only happens in a movie. And this isn't a movie. This is Matty Roth undercover. It's real. And in the real world Matty Roth has proven to be tough enough. He has passed the test.

Posted by  Pete Albano - January 6, 2012

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Other DMZ Stories

13 : Going undercover

14 : Getting tortured

15 : Being made to do a terrorist act

16 : The virtue of shutting up

17 : As good an ending as Matty can give

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