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Walking Dead #20

Posted: Tuesday, August 2, 2005
By: Jason Brice



Writer: Robert Kirkman
Art: Charlie Adlard and Cliff Rathburn
Letters: Rus Wooton
Publisher: Image Comics
$2.99 U.S. / $3.70 CAN

Plot:
As our survivors settle into their new lives inside the safety of the prison, we see that they soon become occupied with the seemingly mundane aspects of life, such as replacing their torn and tattered clothing, and cleaning out the other section of the prison. However, we see that the group that are sent in to clean out a previously unexplored section of the prison get a little too confident and one of their number pays the price.

Comments:
To start off with while it does provide Charlie Adlard with the opportunity to draw some lovely looking shambling zombies, and I can always appreciate a bit of slapstick humour as we see one of the zombies gets tripped up by his trailing intestines, I have to say that Robert Kirkman seem to be overly attracted to his knife stuck through a board zombie weapon, and I have to say that speaking as a long time fan of the genre I'm a little disappointed by the lack of imagination that is shown in this zombie dispatching method. I mean I don't want to get hung up on such a minor detail, but this secondary plot could have had some real fun with the idea of how to kill a zombie, and this solution feels downright pedestrian. As for the rest of the issue the scene where the survivors are given their new outfits was a little odd as it felt like we were spending far too much time exploring such a mundane topic, but I figure that outfitting the entire cast in prison garb is going to prove to be an important plot point at some future date, so I'll give Robert Kirkman the benefit of the doubt. In any event there's more than enough here to keep readers interested as there's a nice little bit where we learn we have a bigot lurking among the cast and I'm sure this is going to serve to generate future tensions. The issue also manages to offer up yet another surprise development, as Robert Kirkman remains true to his promise that no one is safe in these pages, as a long standing cast member falls victim to an attack that is sure to make things interesting next issue. Plus given I find myself forever jumping to the defence of the zombies as solid villains, I have to say that part of me lets out a little cheer when a writer offers up a scene that reminds readers why zombies deserve to stand proudly among the more dangerous looking werewolves, vampires and demons. They may not be the fastest, and they may be easily dispatched, but they make up for this with their single-minded resolve. I mean it's hard not to start to get behind the zombies, as collectively they're like the Rocky Balboa of the scary monster villains.

As I mention above this book opens with a nice little bit of zombie humour, and while I didn't figure out why the zombie fell down until a closer second inspection of the panels I have to say I enjoyed the reaction of the zombie by the fence. The art also does a nice job of selling the little character moments, from Carol hurt expression when Tyreese tells her that he's not ready to leave, to the cute little bit where we see the dead body in the library springs to life. The big scene where we see a character falls victim to a zombie was also well played, as one is left with little doubt that the character is doomed, and the expressions of the other two character as they realize this are nicely conveyed by the art. The last page is also solid visual to end the issue on as one is left to consider the implications of this discovery. I also have to finally give Tony Moore credit for his work on the covers, as he's does an amazing job of selling a single idea, as Lori's growing sense of isolation is extremely well presented on this cover.



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