The action shifts into high gear as the stakes are raised in part three of “No Way Out” as Rick Grimes and company struggle to keep the walking dead from pouring into their once impenetrable suburban stronghold.
Writer Robert Kirkman immediately pulls us into the action as the book opens smack dab in the thick of it, as zombies continue to pour into the once suburban safe haven that has become home to Rick Grimes and his band of survivors for the better part of a year. While the bloody, gory zombie killing action is great, what really makes this issue shine is the growth we see from a lot of the main characters in the book.
We first see this when Rick’s friend Morgan is bitten on the shoulder by one of the dead. Without so much as a thought, Rick immediately orders Morgan’s arm to be cut off in an effort to prevent the virus that is now in his blood from spreading to his whole body. When the series first began, Rick might have paused, not wanting to take his friend’s limb, but Rick is a different man now. He simply did what needed to be done. No hesitation. No second guessing.
Even greater growth for Rick comes in the form of Jessie, a woman who Rick has become romantically involved with. After all, Rick has gone through with the loss of his wife and infant daughter, it is nice to see him happy, if even just for a fraction of a moment.
Another example of even greater character growth comes from none other than Rick’s eight year old son, Carl. As Morgan recovers from his attack, Carl with a loaded gun at his side, is charged with keeping an eye on him in case the infection does, in fact, spread. No other kid his age could ever be able to emotionally handle such a huge responsibility, but Carl does with the same sense of duty that would make any military general proud. But it’s not surprising because over the course of the series, Carl has been forced to do some major growing up, not to mention killing his fare share of zombies… and humans. Wow.
Artist Charlie Adlard continues to put out some of the best work of his career as he masterfully renders the hell out of each and every page. Whether it’s a zombie killing spree or a quiet moment shared between two characters, Adlard makes every page of this zombie epic come to life. And just wait till you see that last page. He captures Rick perfectly as he protests something that none of us would ever imagine him saying.
The only bad thing about this issue is that I have to wait 30 days for the next one to come out. It’s hard to remember the last time a series like this has continued to hit it out of the park with each new issue (especially after 82 of them), but The Walking Dead continues to fire on all cylinders thanks to the amazing team of writer/creator Robert Kirkman and artist Charlie Adlard.
EDITOR’S NOTE: John Giltinan also reviewed The Walking Dead #82. Read his thoughts, too!