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Walking Dead #85

I’ve been impressed by the quality of the writing for the Walking Dead series since issue one. The characters and the setting seem so real and the storytelling is so tight and well paced, all of which, contribute to making the Walking Dead a great read every month. Despite everything I’ve just written I have noticed that Robert Kirkman’s story arcs where each following the same familiar pattern. Now, while this pattern did not detract at all from any of the individual story arcs it was beginning to adversely affect the series’ overall story. What is this pattern I’m talking about; well I’m not going to say. If you have noticed it yourself then you don’t need me to tell you and if you haven’t then I don’t want to take away from your enjoyment by pointing it out. If the pattern I’m talking about had continued much longer I, for one, would have grown frustrated with the lack of progress in the series and would have stopped reading. I’m happy to say that this issue seems to have broken the pattern I’ve been writing about. Maybe Kirkman realized his overall story had fallen into a rut or maybe he planned from the very beginning to push his readers to the edge only to change direction on them at just the right moment. Either way this issue seems to mark the end of one phase of the Walking Dead’s overall story and the beginning of a new phase.

SPOILER WARNING I’m not going to tell you much of what happens in this issue since you should read it for yourself; it is well worth it. I will tell you that this issue deals with the fallout from the “No Way Out” storyline that ended in the previous issue. After destroying the zombie hoard that broke into their safe haven Rick and the others made the decision to stay and rebuild at the end of the last issue. In this issue Rick and the others discuss how they can make that happen. During this discussion Rick finally states two things that should have been obvious long ago. The first thing is that the survivors can accomplish so much more together then as individuals or as small groups. The second is that their ultimate goal must be the reestablishment of civilization and not just day to day survival. As I stated earlier this issue marks an important turning point in the series. END SPOILER WARNING

One other thing I should mention is that this issue of Walking Dead is a flip book with the other story being Witch Doctor #0. Now, to be honest, I did not read that story but since this means you get two full stories for the price of one who can argue with that. In the end if you have never read an issue of Walking Dead or you’ve read every issue this one is a winner and you should pick it up.

Keith Forney