Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews
Walking Dead #104
Kirkman, Adlard & Rathburn
Walking Dead continues to surprise with another heart-pounding issue. This comic book has periods where the tension builds over a number of issues before Kirkman kills off a bunch of characters in various sickening, but effective, ways. Kirkman appears to be going the route of trying to keep the tension and body count high issue to issue and it works well in this issue. Generally speaking this is a very good issue.
Basically, we watch Rick explode as those in his community voice their displeasure with his leadership abilities. Let's face it this is a long time coming. The community lacks powerful personalities (other than Rick and one or two others) and this weakness is really showing now. Why would anyone in the community have any faith that they will survive the rule by Negan? It seems like more would be clamoring to get away from Rick. Perhaps the indifference shows the weakness of the people all that much more.
The rest of the issue reveals an awful lot of threads. None of which I will spoil, but they are each of the "wow" variety. What I will mention is we seem to be getting insight into the character of Negan and we seem to be getting a glimpse of where they live, which is equally as intriguing. I hope the book spends a little time exploring the location of where Negan and friends live. One thing is clear, though, Negan is feared but his rule is not without some level of dissension.
The aspect of the book that I wasn't thrilled with was the pace. Typically, Walking Dead books take their time to walk the reader through what the character is thinking. It's definitely the kind of book that explores all the options verbally. This issue departs from that and moves along very quickly and it does so through some very important decisions. I think the book is better served when the characters discuss the options and reasoning behind the decisions. It makes the book more realistic.
The artwork is good as always. The best panels in the book are when Negan's nest is revealed. It's got details and imagination and it works well with what we know about Negan. Generally, the rest of the book is your average Charlie Adlard book. He uses close-ups and facial expressions to move the story along. You can't go wrong with this book's visual storytelling ability.
Walking Dead is a good book. It has periods of greatness within issues and it has entire issues of greatness. This issue is the former. There are some amazing developments that took me by surprise in an otherwise average book. Either way, this book is better than just about everything else I read month after month.
4 out of 5 Geek Goggles