Overview

The Walking Dead #88

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The Walking Dead #88

Credits

  • Words: Robert Kirkman
  • Art: Charlie Adlard
  • Colors: Cliff Rathburn
  • Publisher: Image/Skybound
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Aug 17, 2011

Still one of the most solid, soulful books on the shelves today, Robert Kirkman saves his best storytelling for The Walking Dead.

After eighty-eight issues, most comic book series have had a dud or five. Not so with Robert Kirkman’s ongoing zombie epic, The Walking Dead. Having only jumped on the bandwagon this past Christmas, after receiving the first volume in the TPB series as a gift, I’ve been avoiding any Dead-related reviews. I’ve only just finished the fifth volume, you see, and didn’t want to spoil the story. This is what you get for being selfish…

The latest issue focuses on Rick’s struggle to come to terms with the death of his wife and baby daughter, in the face of Carl’s reemergence from a coma. Coming at this ignorant of the events leading up to this issue, I was impressed with Kirkman’s ability to cleverly recap the major series beats without feeling heavy-handed or forced. Through Carl’s somewhat detached recounting of the memories he retained, I learned of a whole slew of developments, which while they lacked detail, at least painted the series timeline in broad strokes.

Kirkman’s love of these characters – despite or perhaps because of the terrible tragedies of their lives – is evident in every word of dialogue, in every simmering emotional beat. Rick’s breakdown, while not surprising considering the hell he’s been through lately, still shocks with its suddenness and raw vulnerability.

In this scene, as in virtually every other important development in the series, Kirkman is more-than-ably aided by his longtime collaborator Charlie Adlard. I remember when I first discovered Tony Moore’s departure from the book, I felt a little discomfited by the change in artists. I quickly grew to love Adlard’s take on this motley collection of everyday folk, relishing his raw-boned linework and liberal use of black. Though less polished than Moore, I now believe Adlard’s grittier, more-textured style is more appropriate to the series’ tone than his predecessor.

Still addictive in the extreme almost ninety issues in, The Walking Dead remains one of my favorite books on the shelves today.

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