Overview

The Walking Dead #34

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The Walking Dead #34

Credits

  • Words: Robert Kirkman
  • Art: Charlie Adlard
  • Inks: Charlie Adlard
  • Colors: Cliff Rathburn
  • Story Title: N/A
  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Jan 31, 2007

Rick and company miraculously survive the ordeal under the Governor’s clutches only to find a bigger surprise awaiting them on the return trip home.

I know I keep saying this time and time again, but Robert Kirkman is one of the most consistent writers working in comics. The man continuously revels in his passions as a scribe with vision, and he couples that with the determination to thrill readers with every book he tackles. The Walking Dead is a good example of this feat and I must say issue thirty-four forced my jaw to drop when I got to the shocking ending.

I won’t be giving away the ending here, but let me at least fill you in on how he set this puppy up. It starts with Rick, Glenn and Michonne (now also being joined by Alice and Martinez) heading home to the prison. Along the way Rick suspects something isn’t right with Michonne since she won’t explain what had transpired (last issue) between her and the Governor. Rick quietly asks Glenn to keep an eye on her, but before any further scrutiny can be had of the situation, the group gets surrounded by a horde of the living dead. Of course a fight ensues and the group manages to flee the situation unscathed and head to the car they left in the field. Everyone starts breathing a sigh of relief, but that’s just the calm before the storm since the worst part of the return trip is still yet to come.

So is that enough to keep you on the edge of your seat? I know as I was reading this issue, it felt like Kirkman personally came over to my house and gut-punched me with this story. Like I said at the top, the man has a passion for the craft and he knows how to amplify the suspense ten-fold. His penchant for solid dialogue definitely comes to the forefront on this one, and I thought the last issue peaked with suspense until this story came along to top it. Kirkman is also first rate at formulating authentic characters with an air of believability to them, and you could see how the additions of Alice and Martinez lend to this statement. I found much of Martinez’s spiel riveting as more insight was revealed about his past and how he came to grips with the world falling apart. I am sure his addition to the cast will only serve to give Kirkman more ammunition for further stories.

Now beyond this, the last individuals deserving credit are artists Charlie Adlard and Cliff Rathburn. These two talents go hand in hand, and like a one-two punch the tandem works feverishly to layer all the panels with action, drama and gore. My favorite scene of Michonne hacking away at the living dead with her sword had me salivating for more. Several panels showed how intense and vicious she’s now become, and there’s obviously a rite of passage taking place with her change in attitude. She’s now been born into an orgy of bloody violence and the guys have truly illustrated this portrayal to chilling effect. I can’t say enough about them and this issue solely demonstrates the full extent of their talents.

I’ve been reading this series from the beginning and I can honestly say the last few issues have really kept me on the edge of my seat. Robert Kirkman is akin to a famous chef in the sense that his best ingredients (such as action and drama) are always utilized to full effect. In this case he’s cooked up a story that left me totally satisfied and for most writers that’s a hard accomplishment to achieve. There’s no one more consistent than Kirkman and the proof is in the pudding here.

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