Friday, 13 January 2017

The Walking Dead, Volume 27: The Whisperer War Review (Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard)

It’s Rick’s crew vs The Whisperers, the nutters who wear zombie skin and live among the zombie herds! Rick’s guys have guns, swords, horses, and walled communities; The Whisperers have bows and arrows, knives, zombies and live in the woods. Yeah, I loves me a good one-sided fight, really puts you on the edge of your seat, that’s why the Ronda Rousey/Amanda Nunes fight was the best ever! Damn, already broke my resolution to be less sarcastic this year... 

Guess who wins? Yup! The Whisperer War is barely a couple of battles, let alone a “war”, and a boring volume to boot! Sure, Rick’s side loses a few peeps (nobody anyone will miss) but it never felt like they were in any trouble. I’m surprised they went out to fight hand-to-hand at all when they could’ve just dug in, sat on the wall and shot at the enemy with their rifles but I guess Robert Kirkman needed to manufacture “tension” somehow.

Repetitive fighting takes up most of the book with little else going on. Carl and Lydia have relationship problems - snooze. Not even Negan roaming free among Rick’s group - with weapons! - livens up the story much. I thought he might try some shenanigans but nope, even Negan’s dull in this one.

Charlie Adlard’s art is good, especially some of the splash pages showing the numbers of the dead the Whisperers have at their disposal. But I’m not a fan of this new approach of cramming the pages with 12 panels ostensibly to show in four panels at a time the various subplots Kirkman’s got going on. The pages look busy and none of the storylines really progress much anyway.

The previous conflicts were interesting in large part because the main antagonist was compelling and charismatic - The Governor, Negan - but this Beta guy is a dreary sap who doesn’t grab your attention.

The Whisperers turn out to be a very unexciting enemy to read about or see challenge Rick. Aside from a couple of scenes and the art, The Whisperer War was a flatline. Hopefully Kirkman’s got something better up his sleeve than continue to focus on this bunch because I really don’t want to see any more of these losers.

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