Sunday, 11 May 2014

The Walking Dead, Volume 8: Made to Suffer Review (Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard)


This book marks the end of the first act of The Walking Dead - and maybe even the end of the series for some readers! Each volume in this series has gotten progressively darker and more gruesome but Volume 8 is challenging you to stick around because it’s so outright disgusting. I’m thinking of one page in particular near the start where you get necrophilia, incest, and paedophilia all at once! I know, just one of those elements would be sickening to see - but all three? Wow. 

And it’s completely unnecessary! We already know the Governor is a sick puppy after the whole decapitated heads in boxes in his living room scene(s), so seeing him frenching his zombie daughter? Ugh. At least I think that’s what he was doing, removing his daughter’s teeth so he could get in close and open-mouth kiss her without her biting him… I don’t know why Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard thought we needed to see that - and even more surprising that Image would publish that! - but the scene’s there. 

It’s a testament to the strength of the story that I saw such a horrible scene and kept reading - and will keep reading the series - because if I wasn’t invested in the story, I’d have dropped the book and walked away. All I can say is Kirkman and Adlard are two messed up people. Is that what the subtitle refers to - the suffering these two put their audience through?

Anyway - the rest of the book. The last page of the last volume showed the Governor rock up to the gates of the prison and begin their attack. The opening chapter of this book takes us back to after Michonne had fled Woodbury after nearly torturing the Governor to death and follows his story up to the current event. And even though the Governor and the rest of Woodbury have a tank and several troop carriers, not to mention superior numbers and tons of guns, they have a dickens of a time trying to storm the prison. 

Once the siege kicks off, the volume becomes super exciting and barrels along at a breakneck pace until the end. Kirkman has no problem killing off characters and he has a gleeful time chopping down half the cast in this book. Characters I had thought would’ve stayed for longer get cut down and the entire paradigm of the story shifts. 

And Michonne - this woman is a freakin’ superhero! She’s easily become the most interesting character for me as, once things begin, she springs to life, grabs her sword and off she goes! I think it’s because she’s a very proactive character - the others in the group react to the Governor while she meets the threat and THEN goes after them in her own way. Her story keeps getting more interesting. 

Hell, the whole story keeps getting interesting! After the deaths of so many characters and the new situation of the survivors, who knows where this series is headed and which characters will live? Get your sick bags ready as The Walking Dead shuffles onwards to (probably) filthier “artistic” territory.

The Walking Dead Volume 8: Made To Suffer

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