The Walking Dead #84
For six years (I started reading the book in November of 2005 with the publication of the first Omnibus), The Walking Dead has been one of my favorite reads. In fact, for about two years afterward, I acted like Greg and gobbled up every horror comic I could. Some, like Crawl Space: XXXombies were great, others not so much.
It’s been a hell of a fun ride too. The book, for me, works best in the monthly publication. I know that I tore through the Omnibus and the issues that I had stockpiled to that date in one sitting and loved it, but then I was introduced to the real power of the serial nature of what a comic is supposed to be. Kirkman has magically ended each issue with a cliff hanger ripe for speculation for sometime usually not shorter than four weeks (and sometimes quite longer). Other books that I loved have suffered from delays… I have yet to read the most recent issue of Bad Dogs, which was one of my favorites when it started two years ago. Walking Dead never lost my interest… I had to know what would happen in the next issue and when it wasn’t a true “WHAT THE FUCK” moment like #83’s shocking ending, it has had the kind of subtle cliffhanger of this issue. There is no dangling over a cliff with a cheesy be back next week same Zombie Channel, same Zombie Time.
Instead, there is the nagging that Rick is not right. He hasn’t been for some time. What was an interesting ensemble piece about survival has expertly shifted to a story of a man spiraling into insanity and it is just as interesting, if not more so from its powerful connect.
No, Kirkman isn’t the best dialogue writer in the business. No, he isn’t the tightest architect of a plot. He doesn’t wow with the faux science of a Fraction or a Hickman. What he is good at is a damn good yarn that makes you forget its own faults, makes you forget your own worries and transports you to a human drama implausible, but real all at the same time.
This issue does all of that as we watch the survivors do the impossible in town and see the fractures open wide in Rick’s mental status.
Adlard is one of the best artists working today. Like Sale with Loeb, he takes the average stories Kirkman provides for him and transcends them into a better story, a great story, for that he is perfect.
Pull list: Afterlife with Archie, Bodies, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Coffin Hill, Dead Boy Detectives, The Fade Out, The Goon, Harley Quinn, Hinterkind, Iron Fist: The Living Weapon,The Maxx Maximized, Miracleman, Ms. Marvel, Multiversity, Rasputin, Rocket Raccoon, Sandman: Overture, Silver Surfer, The Walking Dead