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The Walking Dead #41 [Review]


Quick Rating: Good

The gang at the prison continue to prepare for an attack they feel is imminent from a neighboring group of survivors…

walkingdead041Creator, Writer: Robert Kirkman
Penciler, Inker, Cover: Charlie Adlard
Gray Tones, Cover Colors: Cliff Rathburn
Letterer: Rus Wooton
Publisher: Image Comics

Except for the final page of this issue, in a way it doesn’t seem like much happens. The survivors are all relatively safe (given they’re living in a post-zombie-apocalypse world), and a couple major plot points have recently been dealt with, and the next major bit isn’t quite here.

But that’s the beauty of this title…it’s NOT full of all-out, non-stop action. The characters have all had their shares of trauma and horrible experiences and seen things no human should rightfully ever have to see…but they’re still human. They haven’t (generally speaking) degraded to mindless beasts or anything. They live, they love, they talk, they eat, they have relationships…life goes on, just changed by the obvious zombie presence that has–41 issues in–become more a backdrop to the human drama than an in-your-face action-filled focal point.

Rick and Lori discuss the state of their life–and that of their son–at present, as well as an improving relationship with Carol. Others in the party spend some time practicing with guns and live ammo, preparing for the invasion they feel is coming from Woodbury, and find themselves in a potentially lethal situation with zombies hanging around. A new guest is taken on, and Carol finds that her new friend isn’t going to judge her on her past.

All in all, this is another fine issue of an enjoyable series. The story moves forward–however slowly–and we continue to see the days march on for the characters living at the prison, while zombies continue to exist outside the protective fences. This feels less like a “chapter” and more like a “segment”–it picks up right where the previous issue left off with no real break (just the “previously:” blurb on the inside cover) and the ending will presumably lead right into the first page of the next issue the same way.

The art may not be terribly iconic or poster-worthy and whatnot…but it holds its own with the words of the story, showing what isn’t said, and playing its integral role in the overall storytelling. The black-and-white/greytones work well, and bring the standard, integral tone to the book–it doesn’t feel sketchy, and it’s far from some bright/colorful thing (which would take away from the mood of the book). I have no problem with the art in this issue, that’s for sure.

It might be sorta tough to simply “break in” on this series, with 40 issues’ stories already played out, and not a lot of exposition. At the same time, it’s more an issue of time having passed for the characters than deep intricacies and revelations from the past and future converging on the present or anything. Assuming the standard 6-issue arc(s), this is the penultimate chapter to this particular arc, so not exactly an ideal point for a new reader to jump in.

I’d encourage you–if you’re at all interested in zombie stuff, or just a very well-written human drama to consider checking out the TPBs for this series (6 volumes are already out), and if you like those, jump in with the next arc.

Ratings:

Story: 4/5
Art: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

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