Is this month’s issue any good? Find out here! –SPOILERS AHEAD! Click with caution.
The Walking Dead #110
Story by: Robert Kirkman
Art by: Charlie Adlard
Synopsis: Jesus pursues Kal after realizing he left to tell Negan and the Saviors about Rick’s plans. Rick takes Michonne, Andrea, Carl, Heath and Aaron to the Kingdom to discuss plans with Ezekiel.
Good: There isn’t too much to say about this issue under the good column. The Saviors story arc has been moving at a snail’s pace. This issue didn’t have a lot to offer to the plot line aside from a bit of back story that Ezekiel presented at the end. The second half of the book involving Rick and co. meeting Ezekiel, was only moderately interesting, it was also a great example of the evolution of Carl over the past year and a half (real time). The fact that he gets to come along on this journey and is in on the plans shows his transformation into becoming an adult in the group. In a panel from the issue, the group is at the dinner table and Andrea is lamenting about how over the top Ezekiel is. Carl pipes up and states that he trusts him. It’s a strong example of how Carl has gone from a stubborn child that needed to be saved, to a strong young man that the group can take seriously and whose judgement shouldn’t be taken for granted. Series writer, Robert Kirkman has done a great job of subtly aging and changing his characters throughout the course of the book, and it’s the driving force behind this title; if it weren’t for Carl and Rick having learned from past experiences, the current story arc would be almost a carbon copy of Woodbury.
The artwork in this issue is yet another example of artist Charlie Adlard’s talent. He has a great ability to make the most mundane scenes interesting and exceptional in detail, just using black and white. The detail he applies to the horse that Jesus rides to track down Kal, is great. Horses have made several intermittent appearances in this books history, and looking at back issues you can see how Adlard’s skills have improved through his nearly 10 year run on the title. Another highly detailed panel depicting a feast at the Kingdom serves as a fine display of how much life an artist like Adlard can bring to a page, using nothing but black ink.
Bad: The pace of this title has slowed down far too much. Intially Kirkman stated that he wanted to spend more time on prior story arcs, and that the only reason he pushed the pace early on is because he was worried the book would get cancelled. As this is no longer the case (10 years and a TV show) and he’s pretty much guaranteed money now, there is NO reason to drag out every little bit of his creativity. Kirkman has also stated several times that he has ideas to get the story past issue 200, but if that is the case, PLEASE give us more per issue! Do not fill current issues with useless side plots. Spoilers ahead: The first half of this issue is a side plot involving Jesus following Kal to stop him from telling Negan about Rick’s plans –and it is absolutely pointless (aside from the slight possibility that Kal may have already sold them out). In my opinion it’s an anti-climactic side plot and only worthy of a couple of pages. The Walking Dead is only a monthly book, and with a measly 22 pages on average, those pages can be used much better in order to keep the story moving. Kirkman loves to build up to one massive glory filled issue, and he’s definitely done well in the past by leading on fans, but the stalling seems to be getting longer and more frequent. It’s great that Kirkman wants to spend time telling his story the best way he can, but this book is not frequent enough to be spending time on uneventful plot lines.
Overall: This issue is extremely unsatisfying. There is barely anything in it to push the current story arc forward. The Walking Dead franchise should have enough cache by now to either add more pages to each issue, or release the book more frequently. Though, Kirkman actually addresses this in almost every letters column as something that he isn’t willing to do. If that is the case, they need to stop wasting the few panels they have on irrelevant information. Should this trend continue, I highly suggest fans wait for TPB editions to keep them from completely losing interest.