The Story: Our plucky band of survivors continues to settle into an enclave near Washington, D.C., but are things too good to be true?  Or are the survivors too warped by their experiences on the outside to even know what “normal” is anymore?

[NOTE ABOUT SPOILERS: Knowing how many people read The Walking Dead in trade, I’ve always been very aware of not spoiling this wonderful title for others.  Thus, the normal “What’s good” and “What’s not so good” are going to be short and vague.  I might mention whether something shocking happened in the issue, but I will not say what that shocking thing is.  I am also going to put the “Grade” at the top of the article.  HOWEVER, way down below “What’s not so good” will be discussion of the issue THAT WILL INCLUDE SPOILERS.  So, if you just want to know whether the issue was any good: read the “Grade”.  If you want to know why: read the “What’s good”/”What’s not so good”.  And if you want to know it all: read the whole article.  Just please don’t read the whole thing and then bitch….]

Grade: B+

What’s Good: This issue continue the slow burn that has been going since our band of survivors found apparent sanctuary in a walled encampment near Washington, D.C.  I give Kirkman, Adlard and Rathburn a LOT of credit for how they’re handling this story-arc.  The three creators are working in perfect harmony and building an incredible amount of tension.  The art makes it clear that our main characters are some seriously disturbed people. I’m amazed month-after-month how much range of emotion Adlard and Rathburn convey.

What’s Not So Good: Not much, but I find myself wanting this story arc to come to a sort of climax!  It isn’t much of a complaint because the slow-burn is working so well right now, but after reading this entire series and knowing what Kirkman is capable of doing (see issue #48), you find yourself almost holding your breath when you turn the page.

Conclusion: Another tension building issue of my favorite comic series.


There are a lot of subtle things going on in this issue that make it so good…

  • I love how Kirkman, Adlard and Rathburn are making it unclear what is going on.  Is this enclave of safety Rick and Gang have found seriously fucked up?  They sure seem creepy and it seems like something isn’t quite right with the gun confiscation, assignment to jobs, interview process, etc.  But, on the other hand, it seems like Rick and Gang are not exactly “normal” themselves.  The folks running this enclave haven’t really done anything provocative and Rick has got them all rearming themselves just in case.  Maybe this will turn out to really be a sanctuary but Rick will ruin it?  Won’t it be funny if it turns out that both groups are fucked up?  What amazes me is that between the overall story and the art and shading, they are allowing the reader to feel uncomfortable which is exactly what the characters feel.
  • I was very worried for Abraham in this issue after seeing how he’s having serious issues with going outside the wall.  I thought he might be dead meat since this series does like to toss a character to the zombies every few issues just to remind us that IT ISN’T SAFE!!!!!  But, boy did he come through like a champ and save the life of one of his new co-workers.  It is also interesting to see how he suddenly now seems to be taking a position of authority with the new work-crew.  You just know that whenever we have the big stand-off between Rick and the folks of this town, that someone from Rick’s gang will switch sides.  Maybe it’ll be Abraham?
  • It was also nice to just see some zombies again.  The last few issues were reminding me of that quote that Jeff Goldblum’s character had in Jurassic Park: “At some point, you are planning to have dinosaurs on your dinosaur ride, right?”
  • I worry for Michonne big time.  She really has never been right and is not adjusting to city life very well.  I also kind of wonder why she and Rick have never had a roll in the hay.  They seem perfect for each other.  Oh well…
  • Speaking of things we’d like to see in The Walking Dead… I’d love to see these folks try getting on a boat now that they’re near the ocean.  Can zombies swim?  Could they make it to Bermuda?  Or the Bahamas?  Are there zombies there too?

– Dean Stell