Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews
The Walking Dead #146
Kirkman, Adlard, Gaudiano & Rathburn
The latest issue of the "Walking Dead" visits with the survivors as they mourn the dead. The comic book uses a series silent pages to open the issue with great effect. However, the bulk of the issue seems to be a means to get Rick and Maggie to fight. The issue is a nice read but feels like it has one idea and a lot of filler around that idea. The comic book is still a must-read month after month even if this issue is a tame one.
One of the problems with the silent pages is that many of the characters that were killed off where unknown extras. With the exception of two characters, the group that was killed, their family members and their existence all seem to blend together.
However, the opening manages to get the reader to the main problem. Rick and the leadership is not acting, specifically with violence, against the group that killed their friends. This brings Maggie to question Rick's leadership and it also brings out other characters and how they want Maggie to be the overall leader instead of Rick. Eventually Rick brings up Maggie's execution of Gregory and things get ugly.
The argument, the fight and the immediate make-up all seem to be well within the characterizations of Rick and Maggie. The events unfold in a natural way and they seem overdue in some ways. Rick bringing up how Maggie's father used to keep the dead in the barn was an outstanding line that came out in the heat of the moment. Unfortunately, these few pages are the only thing in the comic that is worthwhile.
The book's ending is also a far fetched cliffhanger. The idea that Rick would in some way use Alpha's daughter to his advantage doesn't make much sense in light of Alpha basically banishing her in the prior issue. I'm not sure what the point of this ending was. Perhaps Kirkman has something up his sleeve or it is possible he just didn't know how to end the comic.
The artwork helps to make this issue memorable with the silent pages. Even if the characters seem to be indistinct in terms of faces and names, the visuals are powerful. The sadness and mourning of the opening pages are something new to this series and are a welcome addition. The rest of the book brings the usual details in the character's actions and reactions as they help sell the story. The visuals are as solid as ever.
"Walking Dead" provides an issue that features a battle between Maggie and Rick as the overall leadership of the group seems to hang in the balance. The comic uses silent pages to open the book and provide a somber memorial for those that have fallen. The emotional impact isn't as big as it could be because so many of the these characters were under developed. The comic feels like an issue that is too long for the story that Kirkman is telling: who is fit to lead. I recommend checking this out but this isn't as strong of an issue as this series generally churns out.
3 out of 5 Geek Goggles