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Posts Tagged ‘Walking Dead’

The Walking Dead #100

July 25, 2012 Leave a comment

July 13, 2012

Title: Something to Fear Part Four

Writer: Robert Kirkman
Art: Charlie Adlard
Letters: Rus Wooton
Gray Tones: Cliff Rathburn
Cover Art: Charlie Adlard & Cliff Rathburn
Variant Covers: Marc Silverstri & Sunny Gho; Frank Quitely; Todd McFarlane & John Rauch; Sean Phillips; Bryan Hitch & John Rauch; Ryan Ottley & John Rauch; Charlie Adlard & Cliff Rathburn, Charlie Adlard
Editor: Sina Grace
Publisher: Image Comics/Skybound

Let’s hear it for Robert Kirkman, shall we? Aside from a hit TV show and what will likely prove to be the highest-selling comic book of 2012, The Walking Dead is now a member of that ever-shrinking family of comic books that have lasted 100 issues or more… and this for a black-and-white character drama with no superheroes. That’s damn impressive.

Also impressive is the story we get here. Kirkman tells a great story, but he doesn’t go out of his way to make this some huge, mind-blowing, 100th-issue extravaganza. We get extra story pages here, but a lot of it is talking heads stuff. Rick and his friends are going out to take a stand against the mysterious Negal, leader of a group of survivors demanding unfair tributes from the group Rick’s people have fallen in with. Rick and company wind up in a face off with Negal, only to wind up captured, and forced into the most horrible situation a human could place them in.

There’s so much about this comic that’s impressive to me. The fact that the drama can come not from the zombies, but from the still-living, is really just the top of the iceberg to me. The fact that, after 100 issues, Kirkman can still legitimately amp up the drama regarding who will live and who will die… the fact that this issue ends with our heroes at a new low point, a point of rage and grief and pain that the reader will share… it’s remarkable that he can still do that after all this time.

Adlard pours it on this issue, turning out some of his best work. Pain, anguish… gore… he puts it all into these pages, turning out a stark look at a horrible world that’s nevertheless wonderfully entertaining to read.

This book is hard to read. But if it wasn’t, it would be worthwhile.

Rating: 9/10

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The Walking Dead #61

October 1, 2011 Leave a comment

May 16, 2009

The Walking Dead #61 (Image Comics)
By Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard

We get both triumph and tragedy this issue — a find by the side of the road offers comfort our cast hasn’t seen in a long time, but Ben’s recent games take a horrific turn that gets even worse after the dust settles. A newcomer also arrives, a priest, but with the hell the world has turned into even a man of the cloth isn’t above suspicion. It’s hard to explain why this issue in particular is so great without spoiling some of the most shocking character moments in this series thus far. What happens here, but I’ll do my best. While the end isn’t necessarily something I expected, it isn’t terribly shocking either. Looking at the way certain characters have been developing, it’s clear that Kirkman has been building towards something like this for some time. That doesn’t make the events of this issue any less brutal or intense, however, and that in and of itself helps make this one of the best installments of this series in quite some time. The great thing about this book is that there’s almost never any way to predict where it’s going to go next, and that makes it exciting as hell.
Rating: 9/10

Recent Reviews: August 17 Releases

August 23, 2011 Leave a comment

The Walking Dead #87

August 8, 2011 Leave a comment

August 1, 2011

Title: Send in the Clone-Bots        

Writer: Robert Kirkman
Art:
Charlie Adlard
Gray Tones:
Cliff Rathburn         
Letterer:
Rus Wooton
Cover Artist:
Charlie Adlard
Editor:
Sina Grace              
Publisher:
Image Comics/Skybound

As the town still tries to recover, for some of our cast, things are falling apart. Rick’s guild over Jessie and Ron’s death and Carl’s injury continues to plague him, and even his lifeline to his lost wife seems to be ready to abandon him. Michonne is dealing with things in her own way, and Maggie comes to Rick with a very specific request. This is one of those quieter issues of The Walking Dead – no one dies, no one is in immediate jeopardy, even, and the only zombies we see are the ones Michonne is using to vent some frustrations, something that to her is barely dangerous at all. Yet it’s still one of the most compelling comics being published. The character drama has always been the hallmark of this series. If it weren’t for issues like this one, the issues that make us really care about the characters that we’ve been following, those issues that are full of blood and anguish wouldn’t really mean anything. The big issues may be why we read this comics, but issues like this are what give the big ones meaning.

Rating: 8/10

The Walking Dead #86/Elephantmen: Man and Elephantman #1

July 21, 2011 Leave a comment

July 17, 2011

Writer: Robert Kirkman
Art:
Charlie Adlard
Gray Tones:
Cliff Rathburn
Letterer:
Rus Wooton
Cover:
Charlie Adlard & Cliff Rathburn
Editor:
Sina Grace              
Publisher:
Image Comics/Skybound

While Rick Grimes stays glued to the bedside of his comatose son, Carl, the rest of his community is still trying to piece itself back together after the recent zombie incursion. Rosita turns to her only friend, having discovered that Abraham is having an affair with Holly, and Michonne tries to bury Morgan, piecing together her own shattered world in the process. We’re back into one of those “quiet zones” that Robert Kirkman so often attempts to trick us with. At the moment, things aren’t blowing up and nobody is in immediate danger of having their face eaten, so our heroes get to lick their wounds and catch their breath. Interestingly, we also see a shift in Rick’s attitude. Here, despite the fact that Carl could still die at any moment, Rick is planning for a long-term existence in this place. To the readers, who know that in this world “long term” often means until Kirkman decides the characters are too comfortable and starts throwing everything back into upheaval, that seems like a sort of fruitless prospect, but that’s not going to stop him. It’s hard not to respect that.

Adlard and Rathburn do what we want them to do – give us solid artwork with real emotion and a smattering of zombie gore. This isn’t a groundbreaking, earth-shaking issue of The Walking Dead, but it’s a fine example of the sort of character drama that so often exists in-between those issues.

And hey, if that wasn’t enough, we get a flip book this issue for no additional charge! So let’s see what’s in this other comic…

Title: The Devil of the Sixth Heaven (Man and Elephantman Part 1)

Writer: Richard Starkings
Art:
Axel Medellin
Cover:
Axel Medellin
Publisher:
Image Comics

I’ve heard of Richard StarkingsElephantmen series before, but I’ve never read an issue and didn’t really know what it was about. This issue really is a perfect introduction into this world. Evidently, in this universe a race of powerful “Elephantmen” (although other large, powerful animals like rhinos and hippos were also used) were created and bred for war. With the war over, though, the Elephantmen are having trouble assimilating into society. “Hip” Flask, our hero, is an Elephantman and a P.I. But as this issue opens only one of these is true – Flask wakes up as a human, memories of his other life fading, and he gets drawn into a case full of all the sex and murder you could want.

I hate to say, I really liked this issue. It’s a bizarre but well-crafted blend of science fiction and pulp detective fiction in a very unique setting and with gorgeous artwork. Even though this amounts to an “alternate reality” story, it gives me enough of the world of the regular comic that I feel like it’s a place I wouldn’t mind visiting. The time may have come to try seeking out these trade paperbacks, because this is pretty damn cool.

Rating: 8/10

The Walking Dead #59

June 18, 2011 Leave a comment

March 14, 2009

The Walking Dead #59 (Image Comics)
By Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard

Rick’s old friend Morgan has gone a little mad with the transformation of his son into a zombie, but they take him with them anyway. After raiding Rick’s former police station for supplies, the men begin the trek back to the rest of their group — but the obstacles in their way may prove to be too much to handle. This series really is like reading a novel. Some issues are full of action. Others, like this one, are usually pretty quiet. If it weren’t for the final sequence, it would almost feel like filler. Not to say it isn’t good stuff — the bulk of this issue is about character development, particularly for Morgan and, to a lesser degree, the others. For a lot of books, it would feel like a wasted issue, but Kirkman has done an excellent job of making us invest in these characters. There’s nothing wasted here, not really. As always, the book works on every level.
Rating: 8/10

The Walking Dead #58

May 12, 2011 Leave a comment

February 19, 2009

The Walking Dead #58 (Image Comics)
By Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard

After the nearly-Earth shattering events of last issue, Rick sits down with his escort to compare stories. We’ve seen a lot of terrible things over the past 57 issues, but somehow it’s a lot more powerful to see them all laid out at once the way we do here. The reader is just left sitting there nodding as we remember each terrible thing that we’ve seen happen, then in understanding as we listen to events we didn’t see, but have no trouble believing. An encounter with an old friend, similarly, is far more tragic than we would have anticipated. Kirkman‘s zombie drama is really a character peace. We’ve watched Rick transform from a stalwart cop into a ruthless survivor tormented by the very things he’s had to do to keep himself and his son alive. The transformation hasn’t been pleasant by any stretch of the imagination, but it has been undeniably compelling. This title is just plain awesome.
Rating: 8/10