In another stunning issue, Rick and his group feel the wrath of Negan. “The Walking Dead” has kicked into high gear and doesn’t show signs of letting up.
Negan’s wrath can is felt through the page. His huge ego and commanding presence tower over Rick both figuratively and literally. After the events last month he is pissed and seeks revenge. Kirkman has taken careful steps to illustrate that Negan is a special kind of maniac. He has a code of honor, and he is intelligent. He would have to have both things just to survive for as long as he has.
WRITTEN BY: Robert Kirkman
ART BY: Charlie Adlard
RELEASE: August 14, 2013
Naturally this bleeds into one of Negan’s key decisions in this issue. He knows Rick wants to kill him, hell, he tried last issue, but he is smarter than Rick. Negan doesn’t want to turn Rick into a martyr by killing him in front of his people. Instead he wants to murder Carl; he wants to make an example.
Meanwhile in the tower, looking out over everything is Andrea. At the beginning of the issue she is primed and ready. Just as things take a turn for the worse on the ground, so too does Andrea’s situation in the tower. Her struggle to stay alive is the driving force of the issue.
It is clear with this issue that Kirkman envisions Andrea and Rick as the central protagonists of the series. With such a cast of revolving characters throughout a multi year history Andrea, Rick, and Carl are the mainstays. Here we find the beginning of the end for them. If Negan has his way, one of our protagonists will be dead in the immediate future.
The beat that ends the issue is perfect. Rick is sure to be broken man when we return next month. Negan is in control, and things are dire.
Adlard has another strong month. His depiction of Andrea’s struggle for her life is tense and dynamic. I grit my teeth the entire time. Negan’s facial expressions are incredibly playful and almost demonic. Adlard draws him with such chaotic joy that his art jumps off the page. Most of the time Negan’s engaged in dramatic and over the top monologues. Adlard makes the talking moments an absolute joy.
The visual sense of space created in the end, allows us to fully feel Rick’s misunderstanding. Adlard’s final panel is fantastic and dramatic. Andrea’s final bit of dialogue is poignant and awesome. I love her more now than ever.
The pacing has hit total high gear, and I can only hope it doesn’t let up. Although this is “The Walking Dead” so things could fall off incredibly with the next issue. However, the pacing and the story finally feel like they are going somewhere.
Kirkman seems to have forgotten about Ezekiel and Jesus. The world of the book has become too expansive, and every character cannot be fully serviced with each issue. However, if the world of the forgotten characters clashes with the world we’re in here the book might hit its best stride in years.
Reviewed by – Jimbus_Christ