Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Walking Dead #118
Kirkman, Adlard, Gaudiano & Rathburn
The fourth installment of the “All Out War” storyline turns out to be a very subpar installment. This issue marks a shift in storytelling style that might become standard down the road but the transition occurs in this comic and is extremely jarring. If this is the first issue of Walking Dead that you pick up you might not even notice, but to the seasoned reader it comes across as lazy and that is a bad thing and unheard of when it comes to the Walking Dead.
The issue starts out pretty tame. We find out what happens to Gregory as he returns to his community. While the details are very fuzzy about how he met up with his men and a lot of other pieces to the story the homecoming makes for good drama. Maggie flips out at him which seems appropriate and is a welcome sight to have her character back in the fold. This is the highlight of the book in terms of storytelling.
The book then shifts to give the reader a little bit of Carl and a little bit of Rick as he storms one of Negan’s strongholds. We get some action, some death and some decent panels then the book falls apart.
Out of nowhere the book changes into panels with no dialogue and a mysterious narrator. The comic book has never taken a first person narrative like this before. And it is not pleasant. Ezekiel and his team fall apart in battle and after a few pages we learn that Ezekiel is the narrator. His tiger makes an entrance and this makes for the best image of the book but it’s not enough to save these pages of odd storytelling. Again, to the newcomer it might be perfectly fine. However, this book is character driven and this just looks like Kirkman asking for some drawn pages so he can put some captions on them. This is highly disappointing.
Adlard on art does a serviceable job. The book is not his best work. There is a double page spread of Maggie, up close, yelling. This seems like a complete waste of space. There are no zombies, other characters or any kind of background at all. It’s just her face. Then a few pages later he provides a guy’s head being blown apart in a very graphic and amazing image. It seems like the book shines in some spots and misses badly in others. The inconsistency may not be Adlard’s doing but the issue seems to be driven by the art and not the script. I hope the art doesn’t stay on this track in future issues.
Walking Dead is a fabulous book. The book is going through some changes. Perhaps even growing pains. This issue marks a shift in the storytelling technique and it makes for a very uneven and lackluster read. There is some action and some character development but not much else. Hopefully this issue is just a speed bump.
2 out of 5 Geek Goggles