Friday, October 10, 2008

The Walking Dead #53 Review

Written by Robert Kirkman
Art by Charlie Adlard & Cliff Rathburn

It is nice to know that Kirkman's one man campaign to save the industry hasn't stopped his books from being released on time. This is a big day here at the cave since this is the first Walking Dead review. It was a mad dash to catch up through trades but it worth it. The story so far is after the incident at the prison, Carl and his dad Rick have been on the road and they get some well deserved good news. They run into Glenn and Maggie and wind up back at Hershel's farm. The big shocking moment is later in the issue when they run into some strangers when one of them reveals that he knows what caused everything. The thing about this series is that the reader is well aware this series has to be finite and that cryptic statement basically means that it is a countdown to the end. Personally I'm a big fan of things that are aware they have a life span and instead of trying to reach for more story to tell they tell their story and move on (I'm looking at you Prison Break, I mean they aren't even in Prison anymore which is just asinine). That statement is basically Kirman's way of putting the reader on notice that the next arc will probably be the last. It is revealed that the city most likely to have survived a situation like this is New Orleans, just kidding it's actually D.C. (but wouldn't it be ironic if it was New Orleans, some socially aware satire there) and I assume we will begin the march to Washington. The dialog is extremely well done as Kirkman constantly adjust it to reflect the emotional damage that all these characters have suffered. The character's action also fit very well as they ask what you would expect them to ask and also act how one would expect them to act after what went down in the prison. The art style continues to capture the feeling. A great example is in the last page where it is nearly all black to capture the gravity of the statement the scientist made. Being in black in white works really well as it adds a nice touch as it successfully captures the mood through the use of shading which if I was a colorist would drive me crazy. That isn't to say that the artist doesn't do a great job, he really shines in the way he draws facial expressions (but then again he draws sad faces all the time since issue one that it can't be that hard anymore). Anyway though, this issue is good as it tones down all the action since the huge prison fight and manages to excite me about what is to come next. The criticism I have though is that this series doesn't read as well as it does in trade. I imagine Image comics makes a whole lot more money through trades than individual issues so they write all their comics with trade form in mind which really discourages the reading of individual issues so the issue doesn't get all that can in. The one example I can readily sight is when a zombie interrupts the meeting with the new survivors that was somewhat unnecessary as it didn't do anything but add some action for the sake of action in what was nice character driven issue.

Overall: GET IT

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