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The Walking Dead #15

Posted: Saturday, February 26, 2005
By: Jason Cornwell



"Nothing To Lose Your Head Over"

Writer and Letters: Robert Kirkman
Art: Charlie Adlard and Cliff Rathburn
Publisher: Image Comics
$2.95 U.S. / $3.65 CAN

Plot:
As Tyreese deals with the young man who killed his daughter, we see Rick is deeply troubled by the discovery that everyone comes back as zombies, and he heads out the next day to deal with a loose end that was left behind. Meanwhile back at the prison we see Tyreese's behaviour takes a troubling turn, but his actions becomes less important when an even more unsettling development occurs, and we see the undead are not the only danger lurking in the prison.

Comments:
Robert Kirkman turns in another entertaining issue, with an undeniably effective cliff-hanger moment, as there are no shortage of suspects, and what's more this issue manages to bring in a tried and true premise in that our cast are trapped inside a prison with a killer who likes to dispatch his victims in a particularly brutal fashion. This book also earns marks for its complete willingness to kill off any and every cast member as four characters are killed off in this issue, and one of them was a cast member that I had considered to be quite safe, which in turn reinforces Robert Kirkman's claim that no one is safe. Now the other plot involving Rick's decision to head off and deal with a lingering plot element did manage to surprise me with its final destination, but it does make sense that this would weigh on his mind, and the one-sided conversation does reveal a decidedly harsher edge to the character. Still, most fans of this series are going to be talking about to opening and closing moments of this issue, as the book opens with a particularly brutal display of violence as Tyreese deals with the young man who killed his daughter, but this powerful, and deeply unsettling moment has nothing on the sheer impact of that last page reveal. I mean this development is so unexpected that I honestly don't know what to make of it, as one has to imagine that one of the prisoners is a ruthless monster, but saying frankly the former inmates seem like they are too good a suspect, and as such this has me taking a wary look at the other characters that make up the cast, and we know precious little about most of their lives before they joined the group.

I do have some problems with Charlie Adlard's work in that there are moments where the action isn't quite as dramatic as it could be. I mean the scene where Tyreese unleashes his anger on the young man who killed his daughter could've been delivered in a more visually dramatic fashion as could've the scene where Rick deals with a loose end. I can also see how some fans might complain that it's a little difficult to tell who's who, but this is due in large part to the lack of color, and the simple fact that there's so many characters running around in these pages (though Robert Kirkman is doing his best to resolve this problem). However, the art is at its best when it's delivering the zombie action, as the scene where our cast is clearing out the gym managed to deftly convey the overwhelming nature of these creatures, as they descend on one of the characters. The visual impact of the final page is also undeniable.



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