Overview

The Walking Dead #50

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The Walking Dead #50

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: Jul 2, 2008

With Rick sick and unconscious, Carl is all alone. What decisions will he make and is he strong enough to go it alone?

Robert Kirkman keeps trying to break my heart. Seriously, it is like some kind of conspiracy between him and Jeff Tweedy to make me cry. I am holding up fairly well, I guess.

In this issue, we get to see how much Carl has grown up. We see that if need be he might be able to fend for himself. We also get a taste for how much he would really like to be a normal kid.

However, we know that Carl will never get to grow up like we did. He will never get to build tree houses and camp under the stars. I’m not sure that he knows he is missing all that, but in his desperate cries in this book you feel it. This is one of the most emotional comics ever written. Carl makes the kind of choices that a kid his age just shouldn’t even have to face. Yet he does it with a remarkable composure, all the while becoming human to the reader.

Kirkman has run the readers through the wringer recently and it doesn’t look like he is ready to let up just yet. The poignancy of the emotion here is offset by the fact that we have just undergone a major status quo change in the title the last few months. With this issue, the writer isn’t quite ready to divulge the new routine of the book. It was all quite ajar after what had become a book that seemed to be settling down. The characters (so many are pointed out gone by Carl) had reached a point where they were gaining some kind of normalcy. However, the scribe of this tale knows that this story hinges on suspense and even during that calm period there was danger lurking outside. Now it is just as present as it ever was, we have seen zombies for several issues which is an oddity for this post zombie apocalypse book.

Adlard, like Kirkman, has really become a master of his craft with this title. We have watched him step in for a giant in Tony Moore, only to take these characters and make them his own. The emotional content of the story would be lessened without his ability to show it in the eyes. Sure, making the zombie’s eye sockets a void of white helps, but when Carl’s eyes squint and water or show a void of emotion as he realizes the depth of his situation, it illustrates that these two masters were meant to work together. There is nothing better that can be expected from comic art then for it to perfectly compliment the story. Adlard may not be the name that Alex Ross, Tony Moore, or even Greg Land is, but his art is perfect for this book, which in many ways makes him one of the best artists working today.

50 issues in and I still hope this book never ends. I hope that in a few years I can tell you with issue 100 that the book is just as vibrant and unpredictable as it is now. I know that is Kirkman’s wish. For those of us on the journey with him, it is a mutual desire.

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