‘The Walking Dead’ celebrates ten years by kicking off “All Out War.” The scope of the series has never felt larger. Rick has banded several communities together s in an effort to dethrone Negan’s rule. Kirkman doesn’t waste any time as the pieces are slid into place for the largest conflict in the series’ long history. War has started and it’s never been more fun.
There has been an interesting gradual shift in “The Walking Dead.” At first the fear was always of the walkers, other people were saviors in this destitute world, and Rick looked to them to survive. Now Kirkman has made us so afraid of other humans, there is really no safe haven in this world.
Perhaps Rick is stupid to think eliminating Negan will solve all of his problems. It is the path he has set for himself and now there is no going back. Kirkman mediates on this fact when he spends some time developing the home front. Which stands in stark contrast to Rick quickly preparing the others for what’s to come, and taking off with his army.
In these early pages we’re treated to a couple scenes with Ezekiel. These allow for a better understanding of his character. Although I cannot help but approach him with a greater sense of dread, we still don’t know much about him, or his motivations. I anticipate him becoming a bigger obstacle than an ally in the year to follow.
The early pages are nice and slow. The art by Adlard allows us to revel in small character moments. The opening panels with Andrea and Rick in bed show us the calm before the storm. His clean lines and fantastic use of white space serves as a great juxtaposition to the dark storm that lies at the end of the issue.
“All Out War” is shaping up to be something entirely different. Charlie Adlard’s large sweeping panels of the band of survivors give the book a huge sense of scope. The rallying cries pour through the page and invigorate you in their efforts. I felt a certain twinge of fear and regret by the end of the issue. It feels as if things are moving too far, too fast, but this isn’t our first date with Kirkman.
After a number of years of pulling us through misery Adlard and Kirkman are about to take us into the depths of hell. Rick is ignorant to think that killing Negan will provide the solution to his problems. There is always going to be a new series of obstacles in this world torn asunder. Instead he opts for the easy route, kill or be killed. Since the prison that has been Rick’s calling card, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it is ultimately his demise.
“The Walking Dead” is on a collision course. The narrative barrels ahead and promises to leave many in its wake. I can think of no better way to celebrate ten years of this fantastic series than the orgy of blood promised by this conflict.
To which I say bring it on!
Rating: 4/5 Skulls.