Robert Kirkman’s zombie epic returns this month with an issue deep set in character development. With a definite conflict on the horizon, Kirkman has made a fantastic decision in slowing down the action this month. He takes his time to make us care about the people so that it hits even harder when we inevitably lose somewhere down the line. This character driven issue is easily the best in months.
WRITTEN BY: Robert Kirkman
ART BY: Charlie Adlard
RELEASE: May 8th, 2013
Picking up where the last issue left off, Jesus is trying to track down Kal after he realizes he may have been betrayed. The issue splits between this thread and Rick’s small group going to the Kingdom to talk to Ezekiel.
The Jesus and Kal storyline is quickly resolved and doesn’t carry much tension. The resolution is rather convenient to say the least. Although we do get a couple great panels of Jesus being a total badass catching a spear out of the air. Fuck yeah.
The real meat of the issue comes from the kingdom. We’re introduced to the surrounding area beautifully. Carl comments on the way things are structured, the delusions people are succumbing to, and the performances they have created are fantastic. Rick seems skeptical of all this performance, but Carl is really into it. Michonne doesn’t buy Ezekiel’s bullshit for a moment, and almost immediately attacks him.
Ezekiel calms the group. Rick and the others are quickly introduced to the kingdom through a feast, but then the final pages linger on a conversation between Michonne and Ezekiel. We learn more about Ezekiel than we could have possibly hoped for; his story is tragic, interesting, and captivating. We understand his plight and we begin to really like him. His connection with Michonne is instant and will provide some interesting stakes for the future.
Adlard’s art has been fluctuating wildly for the last year. Yet, I found his efforts in this issue to be particularly strong. The cover is a huge misdirect, so just bear that in mind when you pick up the issue. Inside, Adlard does a great job in making Ezekiel seem magnificent and larger than life when he needs to be. Finally when we get to the more intimate moments Adlard lingers on facial expressions to create a really great emotional connection to Ezekiel’s story. His art lingers in all the right places, and almost makes us feel like a fly on the wall for a first date.
The brief moments of action in the issue are clean and great to look at. Making this a really solid issue for both Kirkman and Adlard. After reading the issue I cannot help but think some terrible shit is on the horizon for new and old characters alike. We shall see if this prediction carries any weight, but usually with the slow build comes the quick resolution.
The emotional weight this issue has makes you care about the Kingdom and Ezekiel. I can only hope the character stays around, but then again this is “The Walking Dead”, so he may be gone next month.
Reviewed by – Jumbus_Christ