DMZ Trailer: The Vertigo Comic Series Heads To HBO Max

Our world has been feeling a little dystopian lately, which means that dystopian fiction is having a moment. Whether it's the gendered horror of "The Handmaid's Tale," the nightmarish survival of "The Walking Dead," or the twisting tale of "Squid Game," dystopian fiction is incredibly popular. The latest series to dig into this sub-genre is HBO Max's "DMZ," based on the DC Vertigo comic of the same name. The series is set in the near future, after a second American Civil War splits the nation between the United States of America and the secessionist Free States of America. While that sounded a bit far-out when the comic book series debuted between 2005 and 2012, it sounds all-too-possible in 2022. 

The first trailer for the upcoming series has dropped, and it looks like it will be a visual feast with some seriously tense moments. 

Another day, another dystopia

The comic version of "DMZ" was written by Brian Wood, with artwork by Wood and collaborator Riccardo Burchielli. The series had 72 issues, ending in February 2012, and was immediately beloved by critics and Vertigo comics fans alike. The series filled the hole left by Brian K. Vaughan's "Y: The Last Man," also a dystopian tale. While that series didn't fare too well at FX, hopefully "DMZ" will do better on HBO Max. After all, dystopias tend to be a little too dark and dirty for regular cable, and HBO will have both the budget and ability to bypass censorship on the more adult content.

The HBO Max series will follow Alma (Rosario Dawson), a brand-new character who was created for the series but is inspired by the comics' Zee Hernandez. In the trailer, we learn that she lost her son during the evacuation of Manhattan, and now has returned to try and find him. Manhattan has become a demilitarized zone, or DMZ, which means that it's an area where neither the United States or the Free States have control. While it's supposed to be a place of peace, the DMZ instead feels like a prison to those trapped within its massive walls. With no outside governance, the people of the DMZ must find a way forward, and it looks like Alma will play a major role. "DMZ" also stars Benjamin Bratt, Rutina Wesley, Mamie Gummer, Nora Dunn, Henry G. Sanders, Venus Ariel, Jade Wu, Rey Gallegos, Agam Darshi, and Juani Feliz. The series was created by showrunner Roberto Patino and executive producer/pilot director Ava DuVernay. 

Here's the official synopsis: 

In the near future, America is embroiled in a bitter civil war, leaving Manhattan a demilitarized zone (DMZ), destroyed and isolated from the rest of the world. Leaping off the pages of the popular comic, "DMZ" chronicles the harrowing journey of fearless and fierce medic Alma Ortega (series star Rosario Dawson), who sets out on a harrowing journey to find the son she lost in the evacuation of New York City at the onset of the conflict. Throwing gasoline on the flames of that conflict is Parco Delgado (series star Benjamin Bratt), the popular — and deadly — leader of one of the most powerful gangs in the DMZ. He wants to rule this new world — and will stop at nothing to secure that outcome. In this adrenalized and expansive drama which examines a stark political and cultural divide in American society, Alma must contend with the gangs, militias, demagogues and warlords that control this lawless no man's land. In doing so, she becomes the unlikely source of what everyone here has lost...hope.

"DMZ" will stream exclusively on HBO Max beginning on March 17, 2022.