Friday, February 13, 2009

Walking Dead #58

Written by Robert Kirkman
Art by Charlie Adlard and Cliff Rathburn

Kirkman often gets criticized for his tendency in both Invincible and The Walking Dead to not have much of a narrative structure to his books - they often seem to flow seamlessly from one issue to the next, as if he's writing for the eventual omnibus collection instead of for the individual issue or even the trade paperback.

That's why it's nice to see an issue like this one - one that is structured around a theme, but still progresses the overall plot. This is the fatherhood issue of The Walking Dead.

The book opens with a conversation between Rick and Abraham, following the attempted rape of Carl last issue. Alongside Rick, I'm starting to not hate Abraham, as his backstory is explained in excruciating detail. From there, Rick is forced to explore some of his more lethal decisions over the course of the book, and there is a touch moment between him and Carl. After that, we finally get to check in on Duane and Morgan, the father and son who had stayed behind in Rick's hometown back in the first volume of the series.

This isn't the best issue to hand to a new reader - it references a lot of past material, but it is a fantastic character issue, and shows off some of Kirkman's greatest strengths. I feel like this book is getting darker with every issue lately (which is not easy to do when you consider all that has happened in this title), but at the same time, I'm more intrigued by it than I have been since before they moved into the prison.

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