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The Walking Dead #100 [Review]


Full review posted to cxPulp.com
.

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

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The Walking Dead #96 [Review]

A Larger World (Conclusion)

Creator, Writer: Robert Kirkman
Letterer: Rus Wooton
Penciler, Inker, Cover: Charlie Adlard
Gray Tones, Cover Colors: Cliff Rathburn
Editor: Sina Grace
Published by: Image Comics

Rick and “our” survivors get a taste of this other facility where so many live, and have their own perspectives on the whole thing. While they’re learning about the situation in general, Rick finds himself in position to make a deal for long-term survival, though his friends aren’t entirely thrilled with it.

Story-wise, not a bad issue. I hardly remember the last issue, so surely lost something in between that and this. As story conclusions go, this is a bit less thrilling than some, so a bit of a let-down…but it sets things up for other stories to come, and the run-up to #100 (which by usual 6-issue arcs will kick off the 2nd half of the next arc).

Visually, nothing new or shocking, really…the art’s one of the most consistent things about this comic (actually, same can be said for the writing).

Frankly, this is no jump-on point…but it’s the latest issue of The Walking Dead, and it’s not bad.

Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10
Whole: 8/10

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

The Walking Dead #54 [Review]

Quick Rating: Good

Rick & Co. interact with newcomers/survivors who claim to know what caused the outbreak of the walking dead.

walkingdead054Creator, Writer: Robert Kirkman
Penciler, Inker, Cover: Charlie Adlard
Gray Tones, Cover Colors: Cliff Rathburn
Letterer: Rus Wooton
Publisher: Image Comics

After last issue’s cliffhanger suggesting revelation this issue, we begin the issue with the follow-up: one of the new-comers indeed has knowledge as to what caused the plague of the walking dead. But he needs to get to Washington to deliver said classified knowledge. The two groups of survivors clash over this as well as what to do with the immediate future, driving to the issue’s conclusion…which promises more change.

The story here is as always top-notch. After the last couple arcs really driving home the idea that no one is safe and strangers bring disaster, this issue plays with those expectations a bit, making me feel that it is that much more realistic–it’s certainly a great read as part of the ongoing story! Even though we don’t get to know a whole lot about the newcomers, there’s just enough there that I’m interested, and want to find out more about them and how they’ll play into the ongoing narrative. There’s a consistency–in character portrayal, as well as character growth based on recent/prior events that adds to the strength of the issue.

The art–also as always, top notch–keeps a dark mood on these characters with lots of shadow really conveying how dark a point many of the characters have reached. I have no complaint visually–this simply is The Walking Dead, recognizable in style if not specific characters.

This is the tail-end of the 6-issue TPB cycle, so not really the greatest point to jump on…though if you don’t want to start at the very beginning, this arc is certainly a good point to jump on-board. I see no reason for long-term/continuing readers to pass on this issue.

Ratings:

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

The Walking Dead #53 [Review]

Quick Rating: Good

Rick, Carl, and Michonne find they’re not alone, and actually get some down-time.

walkingdead053Creator, Writer: Robert Kirkman
Penciler, Inker, Cover: Charlie Adlard
Gray Tones, Cover Colors: Cliff Rathburn
Letterer: Rus Wooton
Publisher: Image Comics

Last issue’s cliffhanger saw our heroes being approached by a couple of figures on horseback…Glenn and Maggie, who apparently have managed to survive. These two take Rick, Carl, and Michonne back to where they’ve been staying–Hershel’s farm. Once there (and into a bit of relative safety) the three try to decompress, each in their own ways, and we get some nice character moments…and then a new development threatens the safety they have, and some answers might just be forthcoming.

Story-wise, there’s not a lot of progression in this issue. Oh, there’s progression, don’t get me wrong. But as with so many issues of this series, it’s very character and story-driven…so I for one would probably be just as happy with no zombies in the issue as I would with an issue full of zombie-butt-kickin’ action. Kirkman maintains such a sense of consistency in his writing…I continue to enjoy the story he is laying down month after month, and after so long with these characters, he certainly knows them (and created them, for that matter); other than the fact that I’m now intrigued at where he’s going to take things from this issues cliffhanger page, I’m quite satisfied.

Visually, Adlard & Rathburn continue to also maintain a consistency on the visual front that keeps me impressed. Even characters I haven’t seen in half a year are recognizeable, and as with the writing….I just don’t have any complaints.

All in all, another strong, consistent issue. While not a lot happens, we’re introduced to several new characters, and reintroduced to some old. Not a horrible point to jump on board to check things out, though one might prefer to start with the beginning of the arc, if not the beginning of the series for the full scope and context.

Certainly worth the cover price!

Ratings:

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

The Walking Dead #52 [Review]

Quick Rating: Very Good

Though reunited with an old friend, Rick & Carl are far from safe.

walkingdead052Creator, Writer: Robert Kirkman
Penciler, Inker, Cover: Charlie Adlard
Gray Tones, Cover Colors: Cliff Rathburn
Letterer: Rus Wooton
Publisher: Image Comics

Rick and Carl continue to go about their lives–such that they are–seeking survival in this unsafe world they live in. Rick tries to teach Carl to drive–a practical thing that Carl takes a bit differently. The two presently discover that they are not alone, and this reunion changes the outlook of their evening. Though mistakes are still made, their survival skills seem to be holding…though they probably wonder at it when a pair of horses and riders approach.

The story in this book continues to be engaging, month after month–so much so that I’d love to have this as a weekly (or at least more frequently than once monthly) book. Kirkman‘s characters continue to hold my interest, and all the more after the previous major story, I find myself drawn into the issue, wondering what’s going to happen next, and even if the characters will survive the issue or otherwise emerge relatively unscathed. In short, the writing is of the same high quality I’ve come to expect on this title, and this issue does not leave me disappointed.

Similarly, the art is also of the same high quality I’m used to. There’s not too much to say on the art other than that. Everyone’s recognizeable, I’m not left wondering what’s going on in any of the panels where that’s not the intention, and it simply looks ‘n feels like The Walking Dead.

If you’re willing to sorta jump in, get wet, and check out your surroundings, this is about as good an issue as any to jump in on. I don’t imagine it’d be too hard to get the basic idea of what’s going on and catch the surface-level story. Obviously a long-time reader will find more depth than the newer, though.

As with previous issues, this current issue is a comic that I’m willing to buy monthly now…and then buy again when the collected volume eventually ships.

Ratings:

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

The Walking Dead #49 [Review]

Quick Rating: Very Good

Rick and Carl face an uncertain future as they begin to deal with all that they’ve lost…and still, those pesky zombies abound!

walkingdead049Creator, Writer: Robert Kirkman
Penciler, Inker, Cover: Charlie Adlard
Gray Tones, Cover Colors: Cliff Rathburn
Letterer: Rus Wooton
Publisher: Image Comics

This issue seemed like a very quick read. On the one hand, that’s not so good: I’m not a huge fan of plonking down $2.99+ for something I read quickly and then have another few weeks to wait for the next segment of story. At the same time…the story is engaging, and I’m very interested in finding out what happens–interested enough to forego waiting for a collected volume to read an entire arc in one go.

We were told that “no one was safe,” and that Big Changes were in store for this title. Those promises have been delivered, and while it’s sad to see the loss of so many familiar characters, this issue is like the first issue of a whole new series. The world is full of zombies. A man and his son are on the run, seeking only to survive, both nursing the loss of loved ones. Even as they hold to each other, safety isn’t likely to be found…and life is certainly not to be taken for granted. While the bulk of this issue’s story focuses on Rick and Carl, we’re also showing a couple other characters, hinting at their whereabouts and present situation. As with most issues in this series, the individual issue seems mostly character-focused, as the characters dialogue and face the world in which they find themselves.

The art remains perfectly suited for the story, and is as instrumental in conveying the mood as the writing itself. The story without these visuals would not be the same at all.

While the impact of this issue would be greatly increased by having read the prior issues if not the entire series…I think this is a decent jump-on point if you’ve been hearing about the series or otherwise been curious, but wondered where to begin. This is certainly worth checking out!

Ratings:

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

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