Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Charlie Adlard
Publisher: Image Comics
Kirkman returns to form with this issue of The Walking Dead. The comic opens not with a zombie surprise attack, but with a poignant low key character study of one of the comic’s long running relationships. Kirkman has always been at home writing both characterization and more action packed panels. His dexterity as a writer is again in evidence in this issue where the roamers hardly appear.
Lori tells Rick that she wants to talk to him about Shane and picks up the discussion from last issue’s cliffhanger. Rick isn’t sure whether the baby is his or Shane’s, but he is reluctant to get any details about any possible infidelity from his wife. The scene culminates in the couple embracing, and Charlie Adlard’s pencils add a great deal to the proceedings with some dynamite facial expressions. Not a lot of words have to be employed for the reader to understand the emotions conveyed.
These types of human moments are what sets apart this comic from other gorefests or horror titles, and it has always been a staple of Kirkman’s narratives.
Meanwhile, after last issue’s encounter with Martinez and Rick’s realization of the threat posed by an invasion of the prison by the Governor’s henchmen, Tyreese forms a group to go out in search of the National Guard station rumored to house a stash of weapons. Tyreese’s interaction with Andrea is also interesting. The former tries to shoot at a wandering roamer, and Andrea has to finish the job. Tyreese’s lack of skills as a sharpshooter could prove a liability for the group, and he realizes he is going to need some pointers. Mostly, all the characters are eager to find the station because they can’t stand the crowded confines of the R.V. Fortunately, Axel serendipitously finds a sign leading them to the station.
After stockpiling all the weapons they can haul away in a vehicle Glenn has found, he suggests they should hit a Wal-Mart to gather up supplies, but Tyreese feels uneasy about lingering too long and being discovered.
The tension throughout the comic is tangible and greatly adds to the sense of doom already permeating the milieu inhabited by these characters the reader is emotionally invested in. Kirkman does a good job of pacing while finishing up the comic with another masterful cliffhanger.
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