Sunday, 20 July 2008

‘The Walking Dead’ – Volumes Five and Six (Robert Kirkman)

After picking up the last three issues I knew that I needed to get back into this series and the best way to do this is by picking up the trade paperbacks. One trip to Forbidden Planet and I was ready to go!
It’s a little bit weird reading these books knowing what is going to happen to certain characters but it’s still been fun watching Rick and his band slowly start to turn the prison into a proper home. There are still some surprises in store though including a couple of scenes that made me wince more than just a little bit…

‘The Best Defense’ (Volume Five)

Things are looking good for the prison dwellers now that they’ve managed to clear out all the zombies but things are about to change in a way that will have massive repercussions for a long time to come…
A helicopter in the sky is the first sign of life seen in a long time but following it leads Rick, Glenn and Michonne into even worse danger. Zombies are bad enough but humans are still the most dangerous animal (with the greatest capacity for evil) on the planet... Or are they? Kirkman keeps hopping backward and forward between the dark side of human nature and people doing what they have to do in order to survive in this post apocalyptic landscape. Rick’s group seem to be in the ‘do what you have to do camp’ while the new community, in Woodbury, are full of the ‘darkness of human nature’ and this seems a little bit too polarised to be realistic. Having said that though, the ‘Governor’ of Woodbury does have some nasty tricks up his sleeve and these will make you wince at the very least. ‘The Best Defense’ is not a comic book for kids!
It’s a little bit too polarised in places, like I said, but ‘The Best Defense’ is a read that carries on the story in the best traditions of this series

Eight out of Ten.

‘This Sorrowful Life’ (Volume Six)

The ‘Woodbury Arc’ comes to an end in a swarm of zombies and a torture scene that left me gasping but unable to look the other way. Did the Governor deserve what he got? In light of his crimes he definitely had it coming to him but Michonne has already been shown to be a law unto herself in this new world which makes me wonder how much the guy really deserved to get. Michonne is so far off the scale that even she questions her own actions in a conversation between her two personalities; I want to find out what’s going on here and am looking forward to learning more in future issues.
Rick and his group return to the prison to find it in a somewhat worse state than when they left it, easily fixed though!
The rest of the book is spent on relationships being re-established and Rick having to accept a new role in the group because of his newly acquired disability. This doesn’t stop him from taking care of a situation where the location of the prison is in danger of being revealed. Once again, Rick has carte blanche to do whatever is needed while the other guy is just there to be stopped. To be fair though, Kirkman does acknowledge that there are two sides to the argument by allowing Martinez to put his case across (doesn’t really make much difference though…)
‘This Sorrowful Life’ is a book that sets up events that are only now coming to fruition and it’s cool to see Kirkman thinking of the ‘long game’ here. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on more of these books.

Eight out of Ten

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