Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Charlie Adlard
Publisher: Image Comics
Story: Rick, Glenn and company finally make it back to the prison and are shocked by the zombie infestation they find there. Glenn risks his life to see if Maggie is still alive and after Rick and the others are reunited with the survivors, Rick realizes heís made a terrible tactical mistake by trusting Martinez.
Commentary: I think that a comic book is in trouble if the reader is more interested in the letters pages than the actual plot found within the book. Such was the case with me and this issue of The Walking Dead. As was expected from last issueís cliffhanger, the zombies have broken through the prisonís defenses and have ravaged the prison which has been haven to Rickís family and friends.
You know what? I really donít care so much. Kirkman lessens the impact of this revelation by allowing a large group of characters to survive. Of course, there may have been no plot left to advance if everyone had been bitten or killed, but there are enough survivors to welcome Glenn and the others back that a lot of the tension and fear created by last issue is lost. Worse than this, this issue is pretty blasť, and there are very few ďoh shitĒ moments which have been a trademark of this comic for so long. Could it be that I am getting tired of following this tale of survivors in a zombie infested world?
I donít think so. I think that maybe the proceedings have become a little less riveting. Even the final revelation (the fact that Martinez tricked Rick and is leading the Governorís thugs to the prison) fails to excite me, maybe because I really donít relish a whole arc dealing with the Governorís psychotic henchmen invading the prison. The Governor was a good case study of a total amoral bastard who nonetheless was living by his own code in an anarchist society created by fear and bedlam. His henchmen are not as interesting.
As I mentioned earlier, I think a comic is in trouble when it fails to grab a readerís interest more than its included letters page. I found Kirkman's attempt to defend his right to have Michonneís brutal rape depicted in the context of the story a few issues back from readers who felt offended by it, and who tried to turn it into a racial matter, a lot more interesting than the comic itself.
Final Word: The question of a writer employing disturbing imagery in order to advance his story should not even be an issue if it is done within the context of the story he or she is trying to tell. For people to take offense by it seems absurd to me. This installment of The Walking Dead was pretty flat and uneventful and with the Woodbury lunatics set to descend on the prison, it doesnít seem that an upswing in the plot is to be expected any time soon.
What did you think of this book?
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