THE WALKING DEAD has been going on for ten years now. That's pretty crazy. While that doesn't reflect the actual time that has passed in the comics, Rick Grimes and the other survivors have been through a lot. And the worst of it may just be starting.
Because the series has alway been more than just about zombies, we're seeing other areas on the road to survival. This first chapter in a twelve-issue arc also marks the evolution of the survivors. It used to be they were scrounging around, just trying to find a safe place amongst the zombies, now they're actually fighting against other humans. In a world where mankind may be on the brink of extinction, this clearly shows how desperate things have become.
Ever since the horrific events in issue #100, this is a battle that's been long coming. This is the calm before the storm. In true Robert Kirkman fashion, we know this isn't going to be a pleasant story arc for the characters. Seeing them reflect upon the decision to move forward with the plan is a great way to remind us that they are human. There is a lot riding on what happens next. It's not just about the individuals but also everyone in their society.
Charlie Adlard is gearing up for what's to come. We get some nice two page spreads and panels that really capture the vibe and atmosphere of what's about to go down. Again, this further shows the importance of the survivors' decision as well as reminding us just how horrible the landscape is. Stefano Gaudiano's assist on inks for this arc is pretty seamless and of course Cliff Rathburn's gray tones really adds to it all.
This is the first part of the big arc. It's a set up issue. The characters all need to get in their place before the action truly starts and it all hits the fan. The problem is, this is already something that has been building for some time. It's understandable there could be some readers jumping on board here or possibly returning after an absence. There could be a need to flesh out the situation before it all starts but some of us are just getting antsy.
The ending wasn't an absolute shocker or gigantic cliffhanger. They can't all be. Clearly next issue, things will explode.
In THE WALKING DEAD, we've come to expect the unexpected. With the beginning of a twelve-issue arc and the idea of humans going to war against each other, we know this is going to be a bloodbath of a different nature. It shows how the series has evolved after ten years. As this is the first part, it sets up the craziness that's to come. We might be used to the shocks and cliffhangers which we don't see much of here but this is a big moment for the characters. This is not something readers will want to miss.