Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Walking Dead #101

Written by Robert Kirkman
Art by Charlie Adlard and Cliff Rathburn

After the excitement and brutality of the last issue, I was curious to see how Kirkman would show the rest of his characters reacting.  In the 100th issue, which set all sorts of sales records for post-90s creator-owned comics, Kirkman killed off a character who has survived being a member of the cast a lot longer than most, in a brutal scene involving Negan, the leader of the Saviors, a group of thugs that terrorize and live off of settlements like the Hilltop.

This issue opens immediately after that scene, and shows the survivors' various reactions to the death.  Rick is blamed, and in typical Rick fashion, blames himself even more.  The group continues to the Hilltop, but don't find much help for themselves, although Jesus, the man who introduced them to that new community, does decide to accompany them back to their Community.

When they get there, they find that the Saviors have been there before them.  Kirkman excels at setting up little surprises like this, which are kind of predictable, yet which still grab you right in the gut when you see them.

I hope that this series retains a number of the new readers who checked it out for the 100th issue.  I imagine that some will be put off by how different things are from the television show, but I also hope that many will recognize this comic's strengths.  It's clear that Kirkman is building his story up to a conflict that will be more intense than the one with the Governor's people a few years ago (or upcoming in Season Three of the show), and I can't wait to see where it all goes.

No comments: