Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Walking Dead #66 – A Review

The Walking Dead #66

Writer Robert Kirkman

Art – Charles Adlard

Graytones – Cliff Rathburn

Reading the letter pages and one comment that stuck out was the remark that this is not only the best Zombie book being done it is one of the best ongoing series on the stands. I have to agree. Walking Dead has pacing issues at times, I think the character driven nature of the book can slow it down to a crawl, but with the monthly publishing schedule being firmly in place again I would not want to go back to getting the trades. I’m such a sucker for this series that I get the monthly and send it on to one of my daughters, I buy the trades for my other daughter and I buy the 12 issue oversized deluxe hard covers of this book for my permanent collection.

This issue “The Hunt” concludes and it concludes in a logical fashion with Rick and his group killing the people who were hunting them. Also Dale died and was cremated; Andrea kept her promise and killed him before he could turn. As Rick takes a moment for himself he hears what he thinks is Abraham coming up behind him and starts to talk. He talks about just how brutal they were to the hunters and they made each hunter watch in turn as they killed them one by one. Rick questions if his son could ever look at him after this. He turns and it is his son Carl and Carl confesses that he killed Ben.

These are the type of issues that make this book rise above the rest. What we have are realistic characters put in an unrealistic (hopefully) setting and then seeing how they react and if they can survive. Walking Dead is an extremely quick read, but gives you lot’s to think about. This issue made me look at Rick again and what he continues to do to survive. Rick should be dead, after all he has been through, physically and mentally, he should be dead. I think he has survived more then any man could realistically take. He lives for his son and I think if his son was killed, Rick would blow his brains out. This is what makes this book so damn good. I rarely stop to think this much about other characters in comics. I read the book and enjoy the adventures and artwork, but I don’t sit down and think what would I have done in that spot, could I be as strong as that character, what were the other options, what do you lose by surviving? Kirkman has made these characters be more real to me then some acquaintances of mine.

It is a tribute to this book that while story arcs come and go the story of this group of survivors can go on forever. If there is no cure the story goes until they die, but maybe they have started families and the group continues. In many ways the title of the book is actually about Rick and his group, as they are becoming “The Walking Dead” in order to survive.

The artwork in this book is excellent also. Having the same artist for I guess sixty issues or maybe a little less is a great blessing for the series. I bet Charles Adlard could draw Rick in his sleep at this point. The art conveys so much. Since I have focused on Rick in this review I will continue in talking about the art. In reading through the book you can see every emotion Rick feels in his face, his body language and his posture. The weariness of Rick is just so apparent and that subtle ability is not easy to convey as large dramatic things. Charles has a solid realistic style that allows him to portray these people as normal looking. The gray tone work is also always consistent and always enhances the art.

If you have skipped this book, start with the next issue as a new arc begins. After a few issues you can buy the trades and catch up on the issues you missed.

Overall Grade A – Just an outstanding series that continues to deliver and be as exciting and vibrant as it has ever been.

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