By Robert Kirkman (writer), Charlie Adlard (art), Cliff Rathburn (colors)
After the cataclysmic events of last issue we’re given a dramatic change of pace. It’s a pace many may not enjoy, but it’s one that I feel is necessary. Let’s face it, going into this issue there was no way Kirkman was going to top last issue. So, like what many readers will have to do, the surviving characters in this book pick up the pieces of their shattered lives and move on.
It’s not entirely revealed who survived the massacre at the prison, but we know Rick, his son Carl, and Michonne have made it through. We get a small glimpse of Michonne as she makes her way through the aftermath of the battlefield. Seemingly unphased, she searches for survivors. She does share a poignant moment with a certain someone and for that brief period, we get a glimpse of what’s left of her humanity (could this be the moment where she loses it?). Meanwhile, Rick and his son begin their new life on the run. They desperately try to find a safe harbor to rest leaving no time for mourning. It’s a somber issue whose tragedy is multiplied with the involvement of a child.
Robert Kirkman’s silent for most of this issue, setting the stage for Charlie Adlard to do most of the storytelling. Adlard has grown as an artist with this series and the panel work he does for the bathroom scene involving Rick are a culmination of his storytelling skills. All this leads to yet another gut wrenching final page (that I think many will see coming a mile away). And though the conclusion is a bit predictable, it still left me wondering: How much more can one person take?
Next issue moves the series in yet another drastic direction, continuing Kirkman’s excellent trend of keeping the reader guessing. To the naysayers out there: This series hasn’t jumped the shark yet! (Grade: B)
– J. Montes
A Second Opinion
After issue 48, I think everyone could use a bit of a breather. That said, I was a bit disappointed with how little we actually learn after the long wait. A little bit more written storytelling would have been nice, but, that said, the visuals we are given to move the story along are incredibly engaging. There are quite a few scenes that pack a nice emotional punch, and the “bathroom scene” does a solid job setting the stage for the next issue.
Overall, there really isn’t much I can add to Jason’s review. This was a solid issue of The Walking Dead, but not a whole lot really happened. It was satisfying and the visual storytelling was great, but a tad more information regarding the aftermath of the previous issue would have been welcomed. (Grade: B)
A Third Opinion
I have to agree with both Jason and Kyle about the excellent visual storytelling of this issue. Adlard does a nice job with the “bathroom scene” but also with the campfire scene with Rick and his son. I do agree with Kyle that this issue lacked any resolution or insight into the series. After such a long wait for #49, I was expecting a little bit more from Kirkman. However, this lack of resolution helps the series in the long run as it’s condensed to trade format, which, in my opinion, it is a much better read. The cliffhangers and whole the waiting for the newest issue to come out seems to be wearing on this Walking Dead fan. (Grade: B+)
– Robert Hyland