Overview

The Walking Dead #85

Review

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The Walking Dead #85

Credits

  • Words: Robert Kirkman
  • Art: Charlie Adlard
  • Colors: Cliff Rathburn
  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: May 25, 2011

The Walking Dead has always been a book that slows down just enough to get you comfortable, then punches you right in the mouth. The series' most recent story arc, 'No Way Out', was a stunning example of exactly this. In "No Way Out," the community Rick and the survivors were living in was starting to get comfortable, like the reader often does, and then things went to hell, as they often do. What's always amazed me about this book is that more than any other comic on the market, I couldn't give you an honest prediction of how exactly things were going to hit the fan. Would it be the zombies or the people that broke down the walls of the community?

Issue #85 slows down a bit from the all-out action of the last issue or two and gives quite a few strong character moments among the survivors. The entire issue focuses not only on the characters' reactions to the previous arc, but planting the seeds for what may be the next few arcs in the series. It begins with a grim scene of clean up from the devastation of previous issues, and ends with what may be a glimmer of hope, a strange thing for a Walking Dead issue, to be sure. The rest of the issue deals heavily with each character and their relationships, and the status quo for these are in some cases changed, for better or worse.

It's another strong outing from Kirkman and Adlard, and while I don't always agree with Kirkman's choices as to where to take the story, I can't deny that I love what he has done with it. Issue #85 serves as another shining example of how carefully Kirkman handles each character, with each page another defining moment in their existence.  Some of the book’s main characters could have used some more time on panel, with Michonne (a series favorite) having only one line of dialogue the entire issue, but it’s understood that a $2.99 comic book only has so many pages, and these characters will surely have their time in future issues. That’s something about this series that never stops, characters are always growing, and their stories are never forgotten.

With the book's (and the community’s) new path being set by this issue, it's going to be one hell of an interesting ride from here on out, right until Kirkman decides to punch you in the face again, and everything is turned upside down. But honestly? I can’t wait for that.

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