Overview

The Walking Dead #44

Review

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The Walking Dead #44

Credits

  • Words: Robert Kirkman
  • Art: Charlie Adlard
  • Inks: Cliff Rathburn
  • Colors: N/A
  • Story Title: N/A
  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Nov 21, 2007

Critics of the most recent arc in Robert Kirkman’s massive Walking Dead saga complained that too little happened to further the plot and terror and action were replaced with character development. Very telling was the title of that arc, The Calm Before, as this current one erupted two issues ago when the Governor, the man who brutally tortured Rick, Michonne and Glenn, arrived at the gates of the prison with a sizable attack force and even a fully functioning tank.

This issue is one of the most action-packed 22 pages Kirkman has yet to produce in a zombie book that doesn’t feature Spider-Man feasting on Galactus. And while this series usually works best when emphasizing character interactions over zombie attacks, the long build up serves perfectly to whet our appetites for the waves of destruction brought on by the Governor and his forces. The battle unfolds realistically and characters react the way you’d expect them to. This isn’t a superhero book and Kirkman doesn’t make his characters out to be heroes. They simply cower on the ground while the Governor opens fire. The fight isn’t as one-sided as the cover would lead you to believe, however, as Rick and the gang do find a way to strike back before the issue’s shocking end.

What else can be said about Charlie Adlard’s artwork? He owns this book. The gore is, ironically, rendered rather beautifully, and his faces emote so well you can often spend entire minutes staring at them trying to pin down the nuances of their emotions. Not that you’d want to. Adlard draws the battle between the two groups of survivors in hectic, clipped page layouts that leave you turning the pages with such speed that the entire issue’s over and done with before you know it. His work will only continue to shine as this arc moves forward and the confrontation inevitably escalates.

If you’re a fan of the zombie film genre then you owe it to yourself to check out The Walking Dead. Its premise, the zombie movie that doesn’t end, has paid dividends over the course of a few dozen issues, and if you dropped the series from your pull list during the recent relative calm, you absolutely must check it out again as the series darts into uncharted waters. The only readers I wouldn’t recommend this issue to are Dead virgins. Robert Kirkman has openly stated that much of the cast will be killed in this current arc and that the status quo will be irrevocably shaken up by the time landmark issue 50 rolls out. The uninitiated might want to wait for that relatively soon jumping on point, but in my humble opinion, they should just go out, pick up the fantastic Walking Dead trades, and try and catch up as soon as humanly possible.

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