Friday, April 01, 2005

The Walking Dead #15-16
writer: Robert Kirkman
artist: Charlie Adlard
published by Image Comics

Well, just when I think I know where things are going in The Walking Dead, Kirkman goes and throws a slider. Chris and Julie are dead. And Julie's come back as a zombie, without being bitten. After Tyrese is forced to watch his daughter come back from the dead, he goes ever so slightly mad. Rick leaves the prison on an errand without telling anyone what it is, and of course, all hell breaks loose. And I didn't predict any of it.
I didn't see Tyrese's maddened charge into the zombie-filled gymnasium coming. Nor did I expect one of the survivors to crack and go on a serial killer rampage. Someone decapitates the twins. As if they didn't have enough the survivors have to contend with a murderer in their midst. With the recent addition of the prisoners to their fold...guess who it could be?
The image of the two twins' heads coming back as decapitated zombies...was kinda disturbing. The survivors immediately suspect the prisoners, which causes quite a bit of bad blood between them. When Rick returns from his mission and finds out what's happened, he rushes to the gym to dispatch Tyrese...and finds him alive.
Someone actually LIVED! Considering the way Kirkman has successfully made me care about a dozen or so characters...and then dispatched them...I never would have guessed that Tyrese would cowboy up and decimate an entire army of zombies by his lonesome...damn.
The survivors are coming apart at the seams already. Nerves are frayed. People are desperately seeking any kind of contact with their fellow survivors. And there's still a killer among them. When his identity is revealed in the last pages of the know things aren't gonna be good. Add to that, the final page add promising that in the next issue..."RICK SNAPS!"...and you know it's gonna get bad. Really bad. But really bad in The Walking Dead is great reading.
I've realized that, in writing about this book, I don't heap enough praise on the art. Sure, Tony Moore was better, but Charlie Adlard still kicks righteous ass ever single issue. With the addition of the art, Kirkman's writing becomes cinematic and moving. You care about the faces you read monthly, not just because of the fantastic writing, but because Charlie Adlard makes them human. They live and die on the page not as characters, but as friends. (Was that enough praise? I promise I'll try to do more!!!)

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