Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Walking Dead #84
Kirkman, Adlard & Rathburn
The conclusion of the “No Way Out” arc takes a bit of a different direction than what I had expected with this issue. The cliffhanger from last issue led me to believe this would be a more somber issue with a send-off to a long time character. Perhaps the issue would have some zombie fighting, especially when dealing with the pockets of survivors scattered around the neighborhood. Instead this issue completely goes in the opposite direction as it is almost entirely an action filled issue. It’s a good read but I was left a little unsatisfied with the apparent lack of resolution with regard to the previous issue’s cliffhanger. Consider this your spoiler warning. All you need to know is that it’s a good book, as always, but it is not as great as the previous issue.
As is the case with a lot of readers, I assumed that Carl would die in this issue. He got shot in the eye with a decent chunk of his head seemingly missing. That just doesn’t seem like the kind of injury you come back from. However, rather than Rick sitting bedside with him, he basically hands him over to the doctor and heads back outside to defend the house from massive amount of zombies.
Rick inspires others to come out of hiding to join in the fight. The humans are severely outnumbered. Many of those that join in the fight are part of Rick’s regular crew, which I guess you would expect since they are all battle tested together. However, it was a little strange that none of the unknown characters that had been living in the town bothered to come out and help. This fight takes up the bulk of the issue.
The issue’s strength is the battle with the zombies. There a number of pages that contain no dialogue and the only words on the pages are sound effects. Adlard excels in showing the brutality and overwhelming odds during these pages. Even Adlard’s page layouts tell a terrific story. He has a double page spread where the top portion has sixteen small panels focused on individuals in the fight and the bottom of the page is one large panel of the overall struggle. It’s just a brilliant sequence. The artwork helps emphasize that this comic book is more than just a character driven drama.
The book ends with a speech by Rick that helps to assure the readers that he hasn’t lost his mind and he does seem to have some sort of hope that things will get better. It’s a good ending but it still doesn’t help to reconcile what happened to Carl. It’s difficult to come to grips with the fact that Rick tried to run and dessert others in the previous issue and in this one he is preaching hope.
If you felt like this series has been lacking zombie action for a while now I think you will be happy with this issue. I do think quite a few readers will be a little disappointed with the apparent lack of focus on Carl in this issue, but then again, maybe this is the ending you were hoping for. This issue is a good read but it just didn’t quite connect with what happened in the previous issue. As always, I can’t wait to see what happens next and generally that is a good thing.
4 out of 5 Geek Goggles