Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Walking Dead #75

Written by Robert Kirkman
Art by Charlie Adlard and Ryan Ottley, and Cliff Rathburn

With almost every issue that comes out, I end up writing here about how much I love this comic.  Well, now it's hit the big 75, which is almost as impressive as the fact that sales on this book are almost always increasing, which is rare in the comics world in general, let alone for an independent, black and white book.  And that's even before the TV show starts...

This issue is amazing.  The lead story continues examining life in the 'Community', the safe haven that Rick and his crew have moved into.  Glenn is off on his foraging mission, where he sees some nasty stuff happening in DC, but most of the issue revolves around Rick, and his failings.  From the start of this title, we've seen Rick move from being uncomfortable with his leadership role to becoming someone who can, at times, be quite capricious in his decisions.  I remember back in the late-40s of the title, when Rick was almost constantly butting heads with Tyreese, as he entrenches himself in a position, and starts to think that he is the only person capable of keeping the others alive.

We're back there with this issue, as Rick becomes increasingly concerned that Pete, one of the 'Community' members, is beating his wife and son.  Rick is the Sheriff in this town, although exactly what legal and moral obligations are placed upon him are unclear.  He feels, once again, like he has to act, and he begins to behave out of all proportions.  The last few pages of this story are among the best I've ever seen in this title.

Had this been the only story in the issue, I would have recognized it as a terrific anniversary issue.  But then, Kirkman decided to honor a promise he made ages ago, and has a back-up story, drawn by Invincible artist Ryan Ottley, that satisfies this need.  I don't want to say anything about it, except that it's brilliant.

After that are a long series of photos of the different actors, in role, who will be portraying the core cast of the TV series.  It works to build excitement for this title, but I would have been happier with a few more story pages instead.  The show looks good, but I had to pause for a bit to remember who Amy is.

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