Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Walking Dead #66
Kirkman, Adlard & Rathburn
As the Hunters arc wraps up we get a bit of a shift in gear with this issue. Instead of a big and exciting ending we get a very somber issue with some horrifying undertones and some subtle loss of humanity. It’s a good issue, but it is not on the level of the previous issue in terms of delivering surprise after surprise. If you pick this issue up you will certainly be entertained and you will have your emotions tugged on but the issue may not stick with you long after you’ve finished reading it like other issues in the series.
The issue opens with the leader of the Hunters completely back pedaling now that he doesn’t have any weapons. He’s basically begging for his life and Rick will have none of it. What follows, is six pages of fantastic artwork with zero dialogue. This is the highlight of the issue and will perhaps be the most memorable parts of the arc.
The illustrations within the six pages range between double splash pages and top to bottom strip panels of various images having to deal with death without showing anything graphic. The bloody sword, the soiled picnic table, silhouettes getting tossed in the fire. The implication is that are put before the reader is that Rick and company cut up every single hunter and burned their bodies. It’s a powerful sequence that is simply brilliantly drawn.
The remainder of the issue is very low key. Rick has his long awaited conversation with Dale. Eventually Dale says his goodbyes and the issue ends with a strange sequence.
As Rick stands near some woods he opens up his thoughts to who he assumed was Abraham behind him. At this point a few things could have occurred. The noise he hears could be a zombie, it could be one of his group (other than Abraham) or it could be a leftover hunter. However, we get a jaw-dropping reveal to close out the issue.
Measuring a comic of this caliber is very difficult. I have a different scale with this comic. I give out three goggles when the issue is its normal greatness. I give it four goggles when I feel anyone coming in as a new reader would be hooked for good. I only give it five goggles when the issue ranks among the five best of all time in the series. It’s a tough love scale, but it works and I would say this issue is great but most likely wouldn’t hook a new reader in for the duration.
To the some, the ending would feel like punting. Here is the perfect opportunity to throw this entire comic on its side by having Rick caught with his guard down. Instead the moment passes. However, to the trained reader, the ending is the one ending you probably wouldn’t have expected. I’m just not sure a new reader would see it that way though.
The issue does explore more the aspect of the core group losing their humanity and that is the main theme of this story. In some ways, Dale keeps some balance and this issue does a good job of tying the two together symbolically. I’m not sure how the group will react in the long term to the events in this issue, but I’m willing to bet there will be some more growing pains.
I enjoyed the issue tremendously and definitely recommend it to anyone. This series is one of the best out there and any comic book fan would probably end up loving this series. It really isn’t just about zombies.
3.5 out of 5 geek goggles