One Mad Dog

[The Walking Dead Volume 12 : Life Among Them] – (Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard)
October 9, 2010, 11:50 pm
Filed under: 8 Stars, Charlie Adlard, Cliff Rathburn, Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead takes on a new direction in Volume 12 when our survivors encounter another group who are living in a community that seems too good to be true. One thing Kirkman does really well is develop a sense of mistrust in the reader. Too many times in previous volumes he has lulled the reader into a false sense of security before hitting them with some shocking event.  “Life Among Them” fairly bristles with tension and apprehension for what will happen next.  I kept expecting to find some new horror revealed on every page  but this book ends up being more of a setup issue for what is to come.  Volume 12 has great art and storytelling and the series shows no sign of going stale. [ISBN-13: 978-1607062547]. 8/10

[The Walking Dead Volume 11: Fear The Hunters] – (Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard)
October 8, 2010, 11:20 pm
Filed under: 9 stars, Charlie Adlard, Cliff Rathburn, Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead

Volume 11 sees our survivors stalked by another group with a gruesome secret. It also has some horrific acts of violence carried out by people who you would least expect. Its very difficult to describe this volume in any more detail without giving away spoilers but it is enough to say that this is an absolute cracker of an issue. The sickening acts of violence are off the scale but the top notch art and story telling make this a very satisfying read. Some of the character developments of Ricks son (Carl) are pretty disturbing and I will be interested to see how that develops in the next volume. In “Fear the Hunters” We lose a key player but gain a mysterious new person. It’s funny to see Rick expressing his horror at the body count as this is a horror the readers have had since volume 1. A truly great ongoing series. [ISBN-13: 978-1607061816]. 9/10

[The Walking Dead Volume 10: What We Become] – (Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard)
October 7, 2010, 11:39 pm
Filed under: 8 Stars, Charlie Adlard, Cliff Rathburn, Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead

“What We Become” continues the story of the survivors journey up to Washington.  After one of the main characters does something stupid, the relationship between Rick and the leader of the group they joined (Abraham)  becomes very strained. Other members of the group also start drifting into their own particular types of madness which raises the underlying tension even more. On a bit of a side quest Rick,  Carl and Abraham encounter another unbelievably savage group of survivors and Rick has his first ever taste of a herd.  We also meet “Morgan” again but now he seems to have lost all his marbles.

Volume 10 is another book exploring the mental state of the survivors and the first part of the book is pretty strange. The  Zombies only really seem to exist as a Catalyst for the madness but they take center stage when the group encounters the herd.  Kirkman is very imaginative in  the horrific things he dreams up  for people to do to each other and Charlie Adlard puts these horrors into pictures that have a very realistic feel to them. The Walking Dead is a very addictive series and Volume 10 is no exception.  “What We Become” is a great action packed story that should keep any Walking Dead fan happy.  I noticed they shifted to a slightly cheaper paper stock for this Volume but it didnt change the impact of the artwork in a noticeable way.  [ISBN-13: 978-1607060758]. 8/10

[The Walking Dead Volume 9: Here We Remain] – (Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard)
October 6, 2010, 11:54 pm
Filed under: 8 Stars, Charlie Adlard, Cliff Rathburn, Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead

After the utter brutality of Volume 8 “Here We Remain” is a welcome change of pace. This volume explores the father son relationship and Rick’s  further descent into madness. There are a few surprises in who they encounter on their travels and a bunch of new characters are introduced to the plot. For the first time in many volumes Kirkman starts to delve a little into the mystery of what caused the Zombie breakout in the first place which Is something I have been looking forward too.  At the end of the book our remaining intrepid heroes begin a new quest in which staying alive isn’t the only focus.  Volume 9 is up to the same great standards as the other volumes and has great art too.  Time to get your breath back before another Kirkman onslaught of the senses I suspect. [ISBN-13: 978-1607060222]. 8/10

[The Walking Dead, Volume 8: Made to Suffer] – (Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard)
October 5, 2010, 10:06 pm
Filed under: 9 stars, Charlie Adlard, Cliff Rathburn, Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead

“Made to Suffer” is the the story of the defense of the Prison from the militia of Woodbury. It also fills in the back story of what happened to the crazy governor after Michonne left him for dead.  Volume 8 is definitely more about people than zombies but that in no way makes it any less shocking.  After the relatively sedate volume 7 this is a roller coaster of a ride. Things happen in this book that literally had my jaw hitting the floor. The body count of significant characters is unbelievable.  It is a milestone volume in The Walking Dead and one that leaves me scratching my head as to how on earth Kirkman will follow it up. Although the art was good I thought some 0f it was inked a bit heavily and it was a bit sparse at times. Walking Dead is a series you really MUST read in order. [ISBN-13: 978-1582408835]. 9/10

[The Walking Dead, Volume 7: The Calm Before] – (Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard)
October 4, 2010, 10:23 pm
Filed under: 7 stars, Charlie Adlard, Cliff Rathburn, Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead

Volume 7 “The Calm Before” is pretty much summed up by its title. Although there is a bit of action involving a raid on a reserve army base it is pretty much a relationships issue. We lose another main character and another main character loses a limb but other than that this is definitely the ebb before the storm.  The last pages however, hit home like a jack hammer.

Adlard’s artwork is of the same high standard but this book lacks a bit of the tension that has made the others so enjoyable. I know that Kirkman is playing with readers, getting them more attached to the characters and building a false sense of security. You just know he is going to unleash unholy hell in the next volume. [ISBN-13: 978-1582408286]. 7/10

[The Walking Dead, Volume 6: This Sorrowful Life] – (Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard)
October 3, 2010, 10:53 pm
Filed under: 8 Stars, Charlie Adlard, Cliff Rathburn, Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead

“This sorrowful life” is another action packed adventure focusing on the plight of Rick, Glen and Michonne and their nightmare in the town of Woodbury. This is one of the most gruesome volumes to date and the revenge scene  was particularly harrowing.  Robert Kirkman manages to keep the plot going a long at a great pace and the way he resolved some apparently hopeless issues was very inventive.  Volume 6 returns things to a bit of normality after the jaw dropping Volume 5 but it also sets things up for another must read story arc.  Nothing can be the same again but hope is not lost.  The artwork in “This Sorrowful Life” is of the same high standard as the rest of the issues in this excellent series. [ISBN-13: 978-1582406848]. 8/10

[The Walking Dead Volume 5: The Best Defense] – (Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard)
October 2, 2010, 10:56 pm
Filed under: 9 stars, Charlie Adlard, Cliff Rathburn, Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead

Book 4 was a bit more of a soap opera than a Zombie action tale but things really hot up in “The Best Defence”.  The sight of a mysterious helicopter crashing a few miles from the prison causes three of the survivors to go investigating.  What they find is a horror beyond imagination and things will never be the same again for those characters. I don’t want to go much further with the  description about what happens as it would really be a spoiler. Back at the prison there were still some wacky relationship happenings but the body count wasn’t as crazy as the first 4 volumes.

Kirkman manages to keep a real sense of tension in this TPB and you are never sure which character is going to go crazy or get killed off next.  Volume 5 is probably my favorite volume so far and my jaw literally dropped at some of the things that happened in it.  Charlie Adlard’s artwork is spot on and I am really beginning to appreciate the way he captures human feelings through their expressions. The book ends on the type of cliff hanger where you just want to rush out and read the next volume to find out what happens next. [ISBN-13: 978-1582406121] . 9/10

[The Walking Dead Volume 4: The Heart’s Desire] – (Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard)
October 1, 2010, 8:02 am
Filed under: 8 Stars, Charlie Adlard, Cliff Rathburn, Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead

“Hearts Desire” is set in the abandoned prison where conflict between the existing inmates and the survivors comes to a head. The main focus of the volume is the hero of the book, Rick Grimes, plunging further into madness and alienating the rest of the party. A major new character is also introduced in the form of a mysterious sword wielding lady. Her joining the prison dwellers causes some major relationships changes for the surviving key characters.  It wouldn’t be a walking dead book without a body count of key characters and this volume is no exception. Robert Kirkman is definitely going to make it difficult for them to cast people in the TV adaption of this book.

Volume 4 of the Walking Dead continues on with its dark and intense plot and shows no sign of losing its freshness or pace. Hearts Desire is another solid volume with consistently good gray scale art. There are some dramatic splash pages in this volume that really hammer the story home. [ISBN-13: 978-1582405308]. 8/10

[The Walking Dead Volume 3: Safety Behind Bars] – (Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard)
September 30, 2010, 7:03 am
Filed under: 8 Stars, Charlie Adlard, Cliff Rathburn, Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead

In book 3 of the Walking Dead our half starved survivors find an abandoned prison full of zombies and look upon it as an ideal home. Unfortunately the prison has some regular survivors already living there and things quickly start to go pear shaped. “Safety Behind Bars” has the same great story telling and tension as the first two volumes. It nicely develops the breakdown of civilization and the loss of humanity of the characters. It is best not to get too attached to a character in “Walking Dead” as Kirkman seems to kill half of them off in every book and a few major players bite the dust in this one. Adlard’s art is good although in my opinion it is not as good as Moore’s art in the first volume. If you like the first two volumes you should  like this one.  [ISBN-13: 978-1582408057 ].8/10