Monday, 5 May 2014

The Walking Dead, Volume 7: The Calm Before Review (Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard)


The group prepares for an inevitable attack from Woodbury, training up everyone who can hold a gun while a small unit sets off to find the National Guard Station to stock up on guns, ammo and gas. Meanwhile, Maggie and Glenn tie the knot and Lori finally gives birth but still more death and tragedy befalls the small group. 

I thought after the craziness of Woodbury and the Governor that this volume would be much less interesting as it’s more or less a return to the status quo but it’s still chock-full of great stuff. Dare I say it - Robert Kirkman does some decent character-work in this book! 

Carol, the mother of Sophia who also tried to commit suicide earlier in the series, has been slowly unravelling these last few books and Kirkman does fine work in showing her fatalistic state of mind - her speech towards the end gives the reader a glimpse into her life in the group and her perspective on how she views them. It’s a very real moment that made Carol seem like an actual person.

Kirkman also keeps things exciting for the reader by having the group looking for the National Guard Station encounter some of the Governor’s men while, back at the prison, Lori goes into labour at night with the generator about to run out of gas, and Billy and Dale have to venture out in the zombie-infested parking lot to siphon more fuel. 

It is amazing that before they sent out the most able among them to gather ammunition from the National Guard Station that they didn’t ensure they had enough fuel for the generator. They didn’t know how long they’d be gone and they knew one of their group was about to give birth, but still they don’t bother to top up the fuel containers from nearly empty to full? What a bunch of idiots! 

And the death and mutilation remains funny, to me at least, because it’s so over-the-top. When zombies aren’t popping out of the shadows like diseased jack-in-the-boxes, characters are happily dying, smiles on their faces! 

Still, The Calm Before is a highly enjoyable volume that’ll keep readers deeply invested in the series - especially with THAT finale! The Calm Before, indeed.

The Walking Dead Volume 7: The Calm Before

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