I thought I might sneak in one more review before the next new comic book day – a spoiler filled look at the latest issue of The Walking Dead! Issue #106 stepped away from the encapsulated storytelling of the previous issue. It’s one I could probably label a transition issue, but as we snap out of the last and get things moving again the momentum makes for a change of pace that I think readers will appreciate. It’s not an exciting issue of The Walking Dead, but I think there is a lot that fans will find satisfying. If you’re into the television show, this is the second new issue to come out over the hiatus. It’s the first time since then that we’ve really seen the comic book versions of characters like Rick, Andrea, and Michonne. It’s nice to be reminded that there is actually a likable Andrea out there, even if only for a short while. There’s a variety of people to touch base with, but gosh was she ever a sight for sore eyes! I like seeing Rick do his leadership thing, even when it means hiding the truth from people and letting the majority of them think Carl is just “missing.” Carl’s vanishing act obviously has much higher stakes in this scenario, and I love seeing man-of-action Rick ready to roll the second he has a lead on where Negan’s base is. There are a few things I think you’ll find to be a bit meh though. We have another couple having the old “should we stay with the group or strike out on our own” conversation, and another upstart voicing pre-rebellious concerns about Rick. After getting our first real clue (and mostly likely answer) as to what happened to Dwight’s face, we only get about a page and a half to expand on it before we have to move on. Issues like this I think tend to highlight the limitations of the comic book medium. As it exists now a lot of single issues just don’t feel like enough, especially when there’s more than one plot or subplot to move along. There’s probably also something to be said for the rate at which we consume entertainment nowadays, and it’s not like I am not entertained. I also appreciate all the work that still goes into it. Every cracked zombie tooth still had to be drawn, every line of Carl’s war-torn face carved out, and every bit of dialogue purposefully written. Eric and Aaron have an inspired debate that’s part heartwarming and part hilarious, and older than his years Carl still has some rather childish sounding threats. The take away moment for me was Rick emptying his gun into a zombie out of frustration – a perfect symbol of exactly where he is at right now. The cliffhanger is huge. What has Negan done to Carl? I guess cliffhanger endings are kind of like this issue of The Walking Dead itself – not totally satisfying, but if you enjoyed the ride you will come back to find out how it ends. Or you could just read my next review, it’s up to you!
For those who are curious, The Walking Dead television series will continue on February 10, 2013.