June 27, 2011

Image Reviews: The Walking Dead #86

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Written by: Jeff
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The Walking Dead #86
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Charlie Adlard
Release Date: June 29, 2011

After the incredibly exciting and horrific things that happened in No Way Out, Kirkman was bound to slow things down a bit. Dealing with Carl’s injury, the loss of Morgan, Jessie, and Douglas, and the huge battle against the zombies needs some serious time to catch your breath. I thought Kirkman did that extremely well in issue #85, showing that instead of fleeing Alexandria after such a wave of zombie invaders, the group decides to learn from their mistakes and stick around to make their home a long-lasting venture.

However, inasmuch as Kirkman did that well last issue, this issue settled a little too much into the “calm after the storm.” Absolutely nothing happens in this issue. We were teased last month that Carl might be awakening from his coma, but Kirkman quickly decides that he’s not quite ready for us to learn Carl’s fate. Will he live? Will he die? Will he be seriously handicapped? While these are all intriguing questions, this issue deals with none of them.

The rest of this issue is spent dragging on conversations between the characters. Rick talks to Andrea. Rosita talks to Eugene. Rick talks to Michonne. There is a little zombie action, however, but nothing that really excites or surprises.

Overall, this issue was really boring compared to previous “downtime” issues that occur after a big event. I get the feeling that Kirkman is meandering here because he doesn’t know what to do, or because he needed to stretch the storytelling a bit so that he can make it to issue #100. I highly doubt that it’s the former as Kirkman always seems to have a plan. Maybe the reason this issue was so low-key was because it’s building to something really awful, which has happened in the past.

If you’re looking for the regular shocks, twists, and high drama that The Walking Dead is known for, you might want to read a different issue.

But on the “flip side,” you can check out Elephantmen #1 with this issue as well, which has some gorgeous art!

My overall rating: C+.

Jeff Jackson



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