Overview

The Walking Dead #86

Review

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The Walking Dead #86

Credits

  • Words: Robert Kirkman
  • Art: Charlie Adlard
  • Colors: Cliff Rathburn
  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Jun 29, 2011

In my last review of The Walking Dead, I said how the book always slows down right before punching you in the face. Walking Dead #86 is a fantastic example of the book changing pace a bit from the past few issues (which were fairly intense) to return to its dialogue-driven developments. In the previous issue and review, I mentioned a few things the issue was missing (mostly key characters), but this issue addresses all of that. This issue seeks to set a new path for Rick and his way of thinking, and continues the trend of making the community a home for what Rick hopes is forever.

While the issue is mostly about Rick and his problems, it also has some incredibly important moments for other key characters. Michonne in particular has a strong scene that deals with her recent loss and how she's handling it, which is sort of a landmark moment for the character, as it's a side of her we haven't seen before. It's not that it's a surprising scene, but just that the character has always been very emotionally distant, and it's nice to see her evolve after all this time. The issue also puts some focus on Andrea, which is nice for a change, as I feel like she is sometimes left to her own devices for too long, though that’s not to say the book doesn’t always have more than enough going on. Other characters, like Rosita and Eugene are fleshed out a bit more, Rosita still reeling from the problems with Abraham in the last issue.

Although Eugene was shown to be a liar in the past, it’s nice to see he wasn’t just tossed away as a character. I’m interested to see where his and Rosita’s friendship goes, and to put it frankly, I’m glad he’s not dead. This friendship gives us an excuse to focus on him as a character, which is never a bad thing, seeing as how he has pretty much been nonexistent since he was discovered to be a liar. Sometimes it feels like Kirkman "forgets" characters on purpose, only to let others play out their roles while building new stories for the "forgotten ones."

While this issue may not make your jaw drop, it will remind you of the subtlety and appreciation Robert Kirkman has for his characters. This issue feels a lot like some of the slower episodes of the television series, where it jumps around from each major relationship, giving each a few pages. At times, it uses Rick as a vehicle to jump to these characters and their problems, but Rick’s role as the paragon of the community makes this feel very natural. A big personal reveal is made by Rick here, and while it’s not one that’s a surprise to readers, it’s incredibly refreshing to see a character become so self-aware.

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