“After a devastating act of war by the Whisperers, Rick must chart a path for his community. But when his leadership is questioned, how will he respond?”
[Texts from the publisher’s website]
>> Please, read the warning for possible spoilers <<
“The world we knew is gone. The world of commerce and frivolous necessity has been replaced by a world of survival and responsibility. An epidemic of apocalyptic proportions has swept the globe (…).”
That quote feels eerily familiar. It’s on the back covers of The Walking Dead comic books. Considering the situation that the COVID-19 virus has put us in, I thought it would be a good time to continue reading the comics. I like to wait a little before reading them because I don’t want to get ahead of the TV series — although both stories have diverged so much by now that it is quite an unnecessary precaution.
The last TV episode to air was episode 15 of the tenth season. The last episode of the season, #16, was due to air this week but the post-production was not completed because of the coronavirus shutdown and its airdate remains unknown. The producers say they have enough material to continue the TV series (including spin-off series and feature films) for another ten years! However, pre-production and filming of season eleven was also delayed by at least a month because of the pandemic. How ironic.
As for the comic book, it has ended with issue #193 (vol. 32), therefore I still have eight volumes to read — actually six volumes since I just finished volumes 25 & 26. Strangely, I never talked much about this series. I usually don’t like horror and zombie stories, but I am a great fan of post-cataclysmic worlds, so it’s not that. Maybe it is that, between the comics and the TV series, there would be so much to say. I already commented (in 2011 !) on the first eleven volumes along with the first season of the TV series. Last year, I also commented on the third compendium (vol. 17-24). Besides the progression of the story, I feel I don’t have much to add since the series has remained of a steady quality.
In volume 25, the Alexandrians discover that, during the fair, the Whisperers have abducted and killed a dozen members of the communities (including Rosita and Ezekiel !). They have also put their heads on stakes delimiting their territory. Rick don’t want to overreact and is hesitating. But his people are VERY angry. As this anger turns toward him he sends Lydia and Carl to the Hilltop for their safety. After being hardly beaten by his own people, he follows the advice of Negan. He deflects the anger by announcing that everyone will train in order to create a military force to defend the communities. Or, to quote Vegetius: Si vis pacem para bellum.
As I said before, it is quite weird that some characters die in the comics but not in the TV series and vice versa. The storytelling is fluid, riveting and move much faster than in the TV series. I like the art which is clean and easy to “read” despite being rather dark because of its heavy inking — although using simple textures (zip-a-tone) for the shading helps avoid overloading the pages. It is a well-written and interesting story about survival and the workings of a human society.
The Walking Dead, vol. 25: No Turning Back, by Robert Kirkman (Story), Charlie Adlard (Pencil), Stefano Gaudiano (Ink). Berkley: Image Comics, March 2016. 136 pages, 17 x 25.7 cm, $US 14.99 / $C 19.99, ISBN 978-1-63215-659-4, For Mature readers (17+). Includes issues 145-150. See back cover.
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