Itís about damn time. Donít get me wrong, Walking Dead has consistently been a great series, even after the massacre some three issues back, but I was starting to get bored with Rick and Carl sitting around and wallowing. I wanted the story to move back to the great character interactions Kirkman has made this series known for. Well issue #52 is the first big step towards that and the real start of the second act of this saga.
Right when you pick up the issue you will recognize the forearm and sword on the cover. Michonne is back and bad-ass as ever. She even has a motherly flair about her that was a welcome addition and really mixes up the dynamic between Rick, Carl, and herself. I also figured she would be the only original cast member revisiting the Walking Dead world this issue but Kirkman does have a few tricks up his sleeve for fans of the series. I wonít spoil it here but it made me very happy.
I also loved how the issue opened; Rick teaching Carl how to drive a car in case they ever get separated. Itís actually a perfect showcase of what this series is all about: making readers comfortable then pulling the rug out from under them. What seems like an innocent and funny introduction turns ugly and dramatic in the blink of an eye making the reader go from happy to extremely nervous. This has always been Walking Dead's strength and the reason Iím waiting in line for each issue every month. Itís one of the few comics that make me uneasy because Kirkman has stuck by his motto: no one is safe.
I also canít say enough about Charlie Adlardís art in Walking Dead. Since he took over at issue #7 I have appreciated the series even more. His use of heavy blacks with panels covered in shadow adds so much atmosphere to an already darkly written book and it creates the perfect concoction of horror. The only sore spot this month comes from the cover which makes Carl look like a little person instead of a young boy. But the cover isnít what we are here for and so itís a pretty mute shortcoming.
Everyone picking up weekly comics should be reading Walking Dead. There is no reason not to be. If you want a soap opera in written form, look no further. Crazy crap happens mostly every month that will give you something to discuss around the water cooler the next day at work just like your favorite prime time shows or soaps. So go to the store, buy all the back issues or hardcovers, get caught up, and enjoy one of the best rides in entertainment.
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