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The Walking Dead #55 [Review]

Quick Rating: Good

Rick faces his past while Glenn faces the future.

walkingdead055Creator, Writer: Robert Kirkman
Penciler, Inker, Cover: Charlie Adlard
Gray Tones, Cover Colors: Cliff Rathburn
Letterer: Rus Wooton
Editor: Aubrey Sitterson
Publisher: Image Comics

We open on a flashback scene–Carl races toward the street with Rick in pursuit–yanking his son away from the street as a car zips by. As Rick talks to Lori, she transforms into a zombie and rips him apart…while he stays put and takes it, feeling he deserves it…and then he wakes. The nightmare prompts Rick to take Watch rather than wake his son, and we get to see a bit more of his coping mechanism in dealing with recent losses.

This is yet another very character-driven issue; a slice-of-life to which we actually have 54 issues’ worth of context. The writing is just where it needs to be–consistent, believable (given the zombie apocalypse that makes up the environment our characters find themselves in), and no real problems. Kirkman doesn’t let things get stale, though–the issue’s end suggests that these characters’ status is far from “quo.”

As the writing remains consistent and believable, so too does the art. No problems here; the art team keeps a nice, consistent style that fits well with the writing.

While it’s probably not “ideal” to jump into a series 55 issues in, this issue kicks off the next six-issue arc, and as such is about as good a point as any to jump into the deep pond if you’re up for some swimmin’. The final page will have an impact on long-time readers, and might just hook a newer reader into staying around to see what happens.

Ratings:

Story: 3.5/5
Art: 4/5
Overall: 3.5/5

X-Factor #2 [Review]

classicreviewlogowhiteQuick Rating: Good
Title: Star Power

Summary: The fate of Rictor, Madrox confronts his dupe, Layla makes herself useful, and things progress on their course…

xfactor002 Writer:
Peter David
Pencils: Ryan Sook & Dennis Callero
Inks: Wade Von Grawbadger & Dennis Callero
Colors: Jose Villarrubia
Letters: VC’s Cory Petit
Production: Brad Johansen
Asst. Editors: Molly Lazer & Aubrey Sitterson
Editor: Andy Schmidt
Cover Art: Ryan Sook
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Marvel‘s recap page works particularly well here, as it not only recaps the previous issue, but shows (I think full-sized) the central point of the final page of # 1…and though we cut immediately to a "meanwhile," it brings the reader back in enough to have that bit of tension necessary for when we get to the fate of Rictor, who was unceremoniously shoved off the edge of a building by one of Jamie’s dupes in the previous issue.

Layla Miller integrates herself into the team, proving some immediate usefulness, though her explanation for knowing things seems to get on Guido’s nerves. We get a glimpse at the "bad guys" orchestrating some behind-the-scenes events, and a mysterious figure that I’m not even going to try guessing at the identity.

Overall, this issue picks up the threads of the previous issue, and advances the story a bit–resolving a key point of that issue, as well as introducing new elements to the main story, and setting things up for future issues. If the issue seems a bit choppy, it’s from juggling Rictor’s fate, X-Factor HQ, Jamie and confronting his dupe, and other elements of the story in the confines of a single, regular-sized comic. Despite that, fans of these characters–and present writer Peter David–will likely find little complaint other than the next issue not being out yet.

The art works well with the story, keeping a visual/stylistic difference from "standard fare" X-stuff, as well as the noir tone the story carries.

A brief exchange between a couple characters provides an interesting meta-textual commentary on the tile of the "Decimation" event this title is a part of, both addressing reader concerns of no thought going to it as well as providing a jab at the media.

On the whole, this is another fine issue of a fairly distinctive title. If you don’t care about any of the characters or the writer (or the art team), then don’t expect to like it. However, if you enjoy PAD‘s writing, and/or the characters, or even just the art on these particular characters, you will very likely enjoy the issue.
If you’re just curious about things, this is just the second issue–shouldn’t be too hard to locate a copy of the first issue (in whatever print edition) and jump on the ride. Recommended.

Story: 3.5/5
Art: 3.5/5
Overall: 3.5/5

Walking Dead #55 [Review]

Posted to Comixtreme.com.

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