Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Walking Dead #106

Written by Robert Kirkman
Art by Charlie Adlard and Cliff Rathburn

This issue marks Charlie Adlard's one-hundredth issue of The Walking Dead in his role as artist, something to be celebrated, considering how talented an artist he is, and how successful he's helped make this book.  That also means that this is my one-hundredth issue of The Walking Dead in my role as a consumer, fan, and supporter, having bought the book with issue eight on a whim, and immediately going back and buying the issue before it the next week (and later getting the first trade).  I can't think of any other comic that I've been buying for 100 consecutive issues that I still love as much, and have never gotten bored with in all that time.

This issue opens at Negan's stronghold, where the psychotic leader of the Saviors is holding Carl prisoner.  Negan ponders how to properly punish Carl for killing some of his men.

After that, the action shifts back to Rick, Andrea, and the Community.  Rick has had a small group of people out looking for Carl each day since he's disappeared, but without luck.  Jesus returns (I just realized how funny that looks - I mean Jesus the man from the Hilltop community who has been tracking Negan's people for Rick) with news of where Negan lives.

Rick and a crew head out hoping to get Carl back, but run in to Negan on the road.  This leads to the type of cliffhanger that I find hardest to handle in this series - one that puts Carl in danger.  I guess Kirkman knows how effective a trick that can be, because he's been doing it a lot lately, and it seems to work every time.  I'm not sure that there are any other characters, aside from Andrea perhaps, left in this series that I feel that same affinity for.

Anyway, as always, this is an excellent issue.  There is a quiet scene between Aaron and Eric, the two scouts that originally brought Rick to the Community, as they discuss whether or not they'd be better off on the road than staying under Negan's thumb.  It's scenes like these that always make this book - we see how Kirkman and his characters are really thinking through their choices and how to react to the world they're stuck in, and it adds a level or realism to the book that I enjoy and appreciate.

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