Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews
Walking Dead #128
Kirkman, Adlard, Gaudiano & Rathburn
Walking Dead provides a very comprehensive, but slow issue as the new world is further defined but not expanded. This issue definitely reads like a small slice of a trade paperback rather than a single comic book issue. Kirkman shifts from character defining stories to plot driven stories to, now, industrial defining stories. It's a good, but very forgettable issue.
The comic book provides the reader of a tour of the community. Rick checks in with the bread maker, has a heart to heart with Eugene, gathers the latest from Andrea about the questioning of the new people and then has a chat with his son, Carl. The book is constructed in a good way to keep the pages turning while giving the reader enough information to get to know the landscape and some of the characters involved. What the comic does a poor job of is keeping in mind this is a single issue.
The new group's leader plays a key role in the beginning as she is questioned heavily by Andrea and she is the cliffhanger for the issue's end. However, Kirkman doesn't use her name in the entire comic book (Magna), which is confusing and comes across as lazy. There were plenty of opportunities to do so as well, such as when Rick and Andrea recap the interrogation. You can make the argument that the character's name isn't essential for the story, but I found it to be a nuisance and one that was avoidable.
The other portion of the book that isn't really clicking is the role reversal aspect of the book. Kirkman is making Rick the established leader while making Magna the skeptical leader that Rick had been in several previous stories. It feels a little stale.
The part of the book that works is the meticulous details that are provided as to how the community works. There is also the element of danger with the zombies for the second issue in a row which was sorely missed for many issues while the war was going on. The book returns to basics in this regard and I welcome it.
The artwork has some high and lows. At times the comic has terrific images that are detailed and extremely expressive. At other times the characters all seem to have close-ups in which the characters are either looking at the reader with a scowl or looking down and to one side like they are solving a puzzle. The book is simply uneven artistically.
The Walking Dead is building up to the next blow-up so you need to sit tight through issues like this one. It's a decent read but nothing special. I'm sure while reading a trade paperback these pages would seem like opening pages but in single issues, they read like a throwaway issue unfortunately. One of the best books on the stands has an off issue here. It happens.
3 out of 5 Geek Goggles