Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Walking Dead #94

Written by Robert Kirkman
Art by Charlie Adlard and Cliff Rathburn

Here's a surprise - the new issue of The Walking Dead is very very good.  Month after month, I praise this comic, and month after month, it continues to earn that praise.  I remember when I first started reading this comic (around #9, and I was able to grab up 7 and 8 in a hurry), each issue held an immediate sense of suspense and fear.  I remember the first time a character I thought was important to the book (and therefore protected) was killed suddenly, and of course now, I couldn't possibly remember her name. 

The book has changed a lot since those early issues, and while Kirkman can still pull off those gigantic surprises (like he did when the Community where Rick and his friends have been living was overrun by walkers), the suspense and dread have shifted away from the immediate, to a general sense of fear for the safety of the characters that I've grown to really care about. 

Currently, the threat is in the form of Jesus, a man who just recently showed up outside the Community, with the promise of introducing our heroes to a larger network of towns and communities that trade with one another.  As usual, Rick responded to this offer with great skepticism and distrust, because that's what Rick does, although now, in this issue, after having scouted the area for threats, he's inclined to believe Jesus.

Rick gets a group together to travel to Jesus's home in the Hilltop.  It's always nice to see these characters back on the road, as that opens Kirkman up to any number of variations on the usual scenario that we see in this series.  What makes this issue most interesting is the continued growth that we are seeing in Carl, Rick's son.  Carl sneaks in to meet the tied-up and imprisoned Jesus early in the issue, with the result being that we aren't all that sure of how much he's told him.  Carl's growing independence puts Rick's plans at risk, and the growing tension between them can really keep this book interesting.  I also like seeing where Rick and Andrea's relationship is going.

So, another month, another glowing review of Kirkman and Adlard's greatest work.

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