Kirkman’s zombie epic kicks into high gear as Rick finally stands up to Negan. Everything goes to hell all over again in the best issue of “The Walking Dead” in months. After last month, any seasoned reader of “The Walking Dead” probably expected this issue to be a slower look at the implications of Negan’s violence. Kirkman defies expectation and turns the issue on its head. Focusing on Rick and his inability to listen, coupled with his bullheaded attitude.
WRITTEN BY: Robert Kirkman
ART BY: Charlie Adlard
RELEASE: July 10, 2013
Negan did Rick a favor. He killed a person in Rick’s camp who wanted Rick gone. Incensed at the news of Negan’s actions, Rick decides to strike. The results are truly chaotic and give one of the best final panels the series has ever provided.
Negan is cool, calm, and collected. There is a method to his madness, and that method is on full display here. It is clear that writing for Negan is an absolute joy for Kirkman. The sadism on display could give the Governor a run for his money. This sadism seems much more thought out. Negan has a unique vision of the world, and a code of honor. All things Kirkman has been building up.
This is Negan’s issue entirely. He owns every page he is part of. Rick feels weak, out of control, and defeated. I’m intrigued as to where things go from here, because nothing can ever really be the same. Rick has completely fucked his group, and there is absolutely no going back.
Adlard’s art is hit or miss. Anyone who has read my reviews knows I’m not a huge fan of Adlard’s work. It often feels unfinished or rather rough. Having said that, his work truly impressed me this month. The final pages have some of the best splashes I’ve seen in the series. The action hits a high point, and is vaulted there by the art. Adlard has no problem ramping up the pace by slowing down the action. It’s a weird but perfect approach to the things going on here.
The pacing is as fast as it could be. Things are not bogged down by long discussion and the entire issue flies by with an incredible speed. Not once did I look away from the page. I felt compelled to keep going, and was constantly surprised by each new panel.
It is hard for me to predict where the series will go from here. As often with “The Walking Dead”, everything feels lost without the ability to go back. Things are in disrepair and will surely get much worse before they get better.
The similarities between Negan and Rick are becoming more and more abundant. The two men look at the world around them in a very similar way. Negan acts because he has to; he ensures the safety of his group and those close to him. He does so out of necessity, and has a distinct code of honor. Rick is lost. He believes he has honor, but can’t listen to anyone long enough to truly display it. He believes he is protecting his group, but seems to be damning them with each decision he makes. Both men seem to stand for the same things. Kirkman is doing some truly amazing work.
Reviewed by – Jimbus_Christ