Sunday, 1 June 2014

The Walking Dead, Volume 16: A Larger World Review (Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard)

Ah, there you are, story! Promise me you’ll never leave - it was horrible without you… Robert Kirkman had the characters digging trenches and… worrying about food… oh it was the worst! Thank zombie jesus that’s all past us! 

And speaking of jesus, a long haired peacenik with some crazy ideas calling himself Jesus shows up at the colony. Turns out there are other colonies surrounding them with more survivors, all trading with one another - and would Rick like to join Jesus and the rest of them? Rick being Rick - not even the saviour can tell him what to do! - he beats Jesus up and takes him hostage… before realising that he was telling the truth and wasn’t trying to rob/murder him and his kid. D’oh! 

That’s pretty much it for this volume! And I’ve realised why these books are being stretched out. We’re into the part of the series now where the TV show has taken off and become a hit so the longer he can get away with the bare minimum of story, the more he can spin out the books and TV episodes and make more money. Kinda like the George R R Martin method, where the end gets further and further away but the cheques keep getting bigger and bigger, so you just shrug and let it keep getting away from you. 

But yes, at least we do have a story now even if it’s recycled from earlier in the series. A group of nutters led by someone called Negan is terrorising the Hilltop outpost and Rick decides he and his battle-hardened group will destroy them, in exchange for much-needed supplies. This Negan chap sounds a lot like the Governor, no? Well, I’ll take that over the ditch-digging any day, even if it’s surprising just how few ideas Kirkman has - how many more Governors are we going to see in this seemingly never-ending series? 

I’m not religious but Jesus is alright with me - he takes out the two toughest characters in the series, Michonne and Abraham, single-handedly and without a gun! I’m secretly hoping he turns out to be the actual Judeo-Christian saviour and the series turns out to have been really about the Second Coming: the dead walking the Earth after the Rapture, Jesus’ battle with the Antichrist - can you imagine if that was the plan all along? Like the comic book Insane Clown Posse. 

Of course it wouldn’t be The Walking Dead without a paper-thin character you neither know nor care about being killed horribly and the characters over-reacting in a scene we’ve seen dozens of times before. And how is Carl still alive? Seriously, the kid had a hole in his head the size of a golf ball but he’s alive and walking about having just come out of a life-threatening coma! 

I suppose that’s the price we have to pay for having a story again - throw logic out the window! But it’s nice to have a plot injecting some much needed energy into proceedings and giving the characters something to do. Rick and Jesus vs Negan (and maybe the Antichrist?) - get some!

The Walking Dead Volume 16: A Larger World

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