Overview

The Walking Dead #45

Review

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The Walking Dead #45

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: Dec 12, 2007

Once again Robert Kirkman manages to break conventions and deliver yet another stellar issue of The Walking Dead. After the battle between Rick’s prison forces and the Governor’s army heated up last month, things calm down a bit here as former friends question their allegiances and a group spearheaded by Dale decides to flee in the RV before the war escalates.

In my review of the previous issue three weeks ago, I talked about how the characters didn’t react heroically while fighting the Governor’s forces. Andrea and Glenn were able to repel them with a few well placed sniper shots, but other than that Rick and company stuck to the ground for cover. This time the characters behave even more realistically. If a writer of lesser talent was penning this series, surely this issue would be used as an opportunity for Rick to rally the troops and prepare for the ensuing assault. But these people aren’t soldiers. They’re police officers and lawyers and farmers. Many of the characters we’ve grown to love over the past forty or so issues decide to abandon the prison this month, and the few that are left are stuck barricading themselves in for what could end up being their last stand.

While Rick heals from his bullet wound, Tyreese and Michonne decide to armor up and track down the Governor. This plot thread is expertly rendered by series artist Charlie Adlard who gives us a particularly gory scene in a book that’s been devoid of truly disgusting set pieces for a little too long now. Overall the artwork isn’t as spectacular as last month, but that’s to be expected considering that the previous issue focused on a major battle and this one shows the fallout.

If there’s any drawback to the book at all it might come from Kirkman’s reliance on splash page shockers and expository speeches. Last issue ended with Rick taking a bullet to the gut, yet within a couple of pages he’s completely healed here. What was the point other than to add an unnecessary hook? This issue also ends with a supposed character death, but in all likelihood this will be another fake out as well. Also, Rick’s speech about how he doesn’t think they can survive the next attack doesn’t ring very true considering he says this in front of his wife and child. Wouldn’t he choose his words a little more carefully at least in front of Carl? This scene feels more like Kirkman trying to convince us that anything can and will happen in this story arc. But by this point, we don’t need convincing. We’re already onboard.

If you’ve been feeling slightly dissatisfied with Kirkman’s other zombie effort- you know, the one where Spider-Man eats people- it may be time to jump ship to The Walking Dead. Smack in the middle of a spectacular arc, Kirkman’s zombie opus has never been better.

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