July 6th, 2012 [This post has SPOILERS]
I just finished issues #97-99 of the Something to Fear arc and I’m ecstatic for the 100th issue to drop next week. It looks like Rick and the group are finally going to leave the Community and venture off to this “Hilltop” population. At first, I didn’t care too much for the setting of the Community because it seemed so removed from the infested, untamed yet exciting world beyond the gates. I’m thinking “Ok, this is probably a calm after the storm and it’s going to drag on for at least 10 more issues before something really badass happens aside from occasional sights of zombies here and there.”
Well, I was right about it dragging on (they stayed in the Community for 30 issues!) but the domestic disputes in between the group and with their hosts was necessary for us to come to a profound realization: these folks ain’t normal anymore and they will NEVER be normal. Rick’s mental state, especially, is deteriorating as we witness him talking to his dead wife Lori through an unplugged phone, his madman outbursts during a brawl with an abusive neighbor, and his straining relationship with Carl: the point of it all.
The group’s stay at the Community add layers upon layers of depth to each character’s behavior and valuable insight to their psyche. Yes, it’s addictive watching zombies’ heads get splattered repeatedly, but even more intriguing to see the effect it has on the man who has to pull the trigger on his turning comrade. Or the pregnant mother who sees her husband off into lands of corpses not knowing if he’ll return. Or the father who, with his teeth and bare hands, rips through another man’s flesh for trying to sodomize his son. Yes, folks, shit gets real. And Kirkman makes it easy to become attached to his characters. When Carl got shot in the head, I held my chest, dropped Cherry (my iPad), and it took me 10 minutes to compose myself before looking at the next panel through spread fingers. I adore this black-and-white sketched child.
Moving on, I don’t know if killing off cool, muscle-headed guy Abraham is a wise decision. Even with total badasses like Andrea and Michonne, there’s only like what? Four or five more survivors that can hold up a pistol? Abraham (and his war machine of a gun) is a huge loss for their offense, and now that they’re going up against the “Negans” and relocating, I find it hard to believe that they can effectively defend themselves against larger militias. I predict in issue #100, the Negans will infiltrate the Community and kill EVERYBODY off except for vital characters and a couple, irritating minor characters. The new survivors will eventually catch up with Rick and the rest of the gang at the Hilltop and revenge will be… blah, who knows.