Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Walking Dead (Volume 6)

This Sorrowful Life

Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard

The sixth volume of Kirkman's popular The Walking Dead does not disappoint. In fact, it's probably the best of the entire series thus far. If you can get over that little hitch in storytelling back in volume four, then it's going to be well worth the wait. The interesting thing is that the zombie stuff isn't what made this volume so great. It's still action-packed, but it's really become a story about what people do in a world devastated by such events, and the action is focused on getting out of the way of people like that, who feel that laws are forfeit and that every man for himself is rule of thumb. I'm not even so interested in how the survivors deal with things when it comes to the main cast of people in the book. It's much better when it's broader and we get to see an entire village of people who behave in ridiculous ways that somehow seem very likely given the scenario. It's an interesting commentary on how people act presently in society and by a not-so-long stretch of the imagination, what sorts of things they would be driven to do under extreme pressure. But in the end, this is a zombie book and if it's thrills and action that one is looking for here, then plenty is still available. The few zombie scenes that riddle the book are quite enough to satisfy any cravings for the undead around the pulse-pounding action that goes on between the humans of the tale. There are several chilling moments in the latest volume of The Walking Dead, and some fantastic scenes that make some of the supporting cast that much more interesting. Michonne in particular is a fascinating character and I hope she has a long life ahead of her in volumes to come. The art on the book, courtesy of Charlie Adlard, is top-notch whether it's scenes of dialogue or mutiny or gore. There's one event in this book that would make Eli Roth proud, and its execution is fantastic. It may be a little indulgent, but it's an important moment for one of the characters and these past two volumes have been leading toward such a confrontation. Six volumes in, this series still has a lot of life in it. No pun intended. A

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