Friday, June 1, 2012

The Walking Dead #98

Written by Robert Kirkman
Art by Charlie Adlard and Cliff Rathburn

I rather expected that the upcoming 100th issue would feature the death of a major character in this series - past experience has shown that anniversary issues are used to pare down the cast a little, often with shocking results, but it seems that Robert Kirkman has jumped the gun a little, having a character who has been with the series for a while now take a crossbow bolt to the head two pages into this most recent issue.

Negan's people have followed Rick and his friends back to the Community, and they aren't wasting any time in attacking.  When two characters (I'm keeping names out of this to avoid spoiling the issue for anyone) go for a walk outside the gate, the apparent leader of Negan's crew, a guy who looks like he's had half his face burned off, take the opportunity to attack them, and use the living one as a hostage to gain entry into the Community.  Rick's not about to let that happen though, and a fierce battle ensues.

Kirkman is ramping up the tension and anticipation before the big number 100, and this is easily the most exciting issue we've seen in some time.  While most of this book is all action, there is a significant scene where Carl bursts in on the sleeping Rick to find that he has some company.  The scene isn't given much space to sink in, but I think this is a pretty big deal, and I hope that it doesn't make the female in that scene a target for Kirkman's bloodthirsty writing, as I like her a lot, and Rick's women don't tend to have a lot of luck...

As always, The Walking Dead is one of the best comics on the stands, and this issue works as a good example of why.

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