Friday, February 20, 2009

The Walking Dead, Issue #58

Last month's prognostication:

Can't wait to read BFF Handlebar McWeepy's touching-ass Vaseline-lens family flashback.

It didn't shake out exactly that way. Instead of a visual flashback, we're given a solemn recounting by Handlebar (apparently "Abraham", which I had to look up) of exactly how he lost his family.

Kirkman's heart is in the right place. I just don't know where his head is at.

In spite of what he may think, these extreme events experienced or retold with emotional frailty are neither touching nor shocking anymore, at least to me. They still have power over Rick, though, whose eyes bug out of his head as he hears Abraham's story. Why? After years of outrageous trials and losses, why are Kirkman's characters not as desensitized as we are?

Again, he overuses dialogue to come around to a very simple, powerful point, one that would have been served better through minimalism. Adlard matches his lazy stride through this segment. Things take a turn for the better when the crew approaches Morgan's house. Adlard bats one out of the park with his sweeping shots and with the depiction of Morgan's palpably maniacal state through excellent facial renderings. (Challenge: See if you can spot the vastly different panel where Adlard appears to ape Romita Jr. Winner gets a virtual handshake!) Of course Adlard wouldn't have gotten as far as he has without kicking ass at drawing zombies. I wish he got to flex this muscle more. His illustration of little Duane is chilling.

As much as I complain about Kirkman extending scenes beyond the limit their content can sustain, I truly wish that roping Morgan into joining their expedition had been a little less quick and easy. (He does manage to squeeze in some stale adages about the inhumanity of the undead.)

Lastly, the Mullet Moment--you'll know it when you come to it--reads like a reader complaint addressed within the pages. Curious!

Overall, not a terrible issue, but certainly not one that shakes off the shackles that have been holding this book back. I look forward to the return to terse action. District of Columbia, here we come!


Doc Zombie said...

I'm equally as curious about the "mullet incident" as you.

This book still has me intrigued...

great review!

Julia Sevin said...

To be sure, the best way to read it is in trade paperback format (the only way you'll find the early issues anyway). Sometimes the story drags for several issues and it seems less boring when you have a whole paperback in your lap and only minutes to go till the next action sequence rather than weeks.