If you have been following Robert Kirkman’s zombie apocalypse epic The Walking Dead, then you already know. This book is not only the most brutal account of the dead returning to life ever told, it is also the most realistic. And I use the term “brutal” cautiously. Don’t misunderstand – The Walking Dead is chock full of good ol’ fashioned zombie killin’. Heads roll and guts spill on a regular in this story. But the real brutality of this wonderful little book is in what transpires within the mind of a survivor. Never before, on any medium, has a zombie survival story properly conveyed what would really happen to characters who are witness to such macabre acts of violence and destruction of human life on a daily basis. Issue #69 has our survivors finally making it to Washington, but will things get better…or worse?
The characters in this story are profoundly broken. And the leader of our little band of survivors, Jim, is no exception. In fact, as this new issue reinforces, Jim could be the most damaged of them all. His decisions have lead to profound pain, loss and heartache. At the beginning of issue #69, he is completely distrustful of Aaron, the stranger who ambled up to the survivor’s camp and revealed himself at the end of the last issue.
This issue is a turning point into a new stage of survival. Any zombie story can usually be broken down into one of three survival stories. There is the outbreak and immediate fallout of the outbreak. Then there is the middle phase, in which short term survival has become the norm. And finally, there is the story of new communities and long-term survival.
Could Aaron really be a shepherd of lost survivors, as he claims? Is there really some utopian community full of trustworthy people who aren’t out to fuck over every un-undead person left on the planet? This remains to be seen. But at the end of #69, the survivors find themselves standing at the gates of Aaron’s community, and he promises it will be a new start.
So far, nearly every living person the survivors have come across have been just as dangerous as the walking persons. This issue is all about the extreme lack of trust that has manifested within the survivors, particularly Jim.
This issue also saw some of our survivors having to jump back into zombie-slaying mode as they make a side trip to respond to a flair shot off in the distance. This scene was as exciting as comics get.
Issue #69 was more of the best. Great art. Great layout. Great story. But now the focus has shifted to the community. Its funny how even the reader becomes distrustful of something that sounds too good to be true. Does this town hold a dark secret like The Governor’s own Woodbury? Look for issue #70 in mid March to find out. 3 stars out of 4Tags: zombie