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Walking Dead #51

Posted: Thursday, August 14, 2008
By: Joey Davidson

Robert Kirkman
Charlie Adlard, Cliff Rathburn (c)
Image Comics
Kirkman seems to be, for now anyways, over that whole Ďno one is safeí deal for these few issues. Carl and Rick are alive, together and healing. They are, however, alone. And that loneliness is something that we readers get to deal with a lot here in issue #51. So we are clear, Carl and Rick are away from the prison and together holed up in an abandoned house. They are low on supplies and Rick is in no shape to defend them if the biters surround them.

So, I thought I had a major qualm with Kirkmanís style about halfway through the issue. I thought, for about a dozen pages, that I would be seriously upset with the pattern The Walking Dead was starting to fall into. Since the beginning, the series has moved from alone to large group, alone to large group and then alone again. Weíre alone now, but the permanence of this loneliness gets thrown into question near the beginning of this issue. And thatís when I started to fear that Kirkman was going to force us into developing new relationships and societal tendencies after he had told readers that he was moving the series into a new direction.

I thought that we were going to be lead into a new group of people and it made me lose some faith in this series as a whole. That went on for a while until Kirkman made up my mind for me. Iím not going to give anything away, but Rick is screwed. And Kirkman is a ruthless man for what heís done to these charactersÖif they were real, anyways.

The scenery is a pleasant change from the prison yard. Weíre back to southern neighborhoods that feel reminiscent of the farm section of earlier issues. The mood is crowded and looming, which makes the short zombie encounter that much more intense. Itís strange how Kirkman has lulled us into viewing the zombies as a non-threat now. Heís been able to lower our guard along with the characters, and thatís where he has us at his greatest advantage. Iíve become so blind to the constant threat that surrounds Carl and Rick, and thatís what makes the moments when the threats move in on them so spectacular.

The pacing of the book sure has changed from the prison yard, community theme that once dominated the spanning horizon. Now Iím not really sure what the heck is going to happen. Consider Kirkmanís Ďno one is safeí theme a win; I donít know what to think. Plus, the next issue teaser shows off an arm and sword that looks like Michonne. Iím excited for that.



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