Saturday, May 5, 2012

Book Review: The Walking Dead, Vol. 12: Life Among Them

The Walking Dead, Vol. 12: Life Among Them by Robert Kirkman

In celebration of Free Comic Book Day 2012, which is May 5, I am posting this review. If you have a chance, go to a local comic shop and check out what they have available, free and otherwise. Use the store locator here. If you are in the DC, Baltimore, or Annapolis area, check out the new location for Third Eye Comics. We are bummed that we won't be going there this year. They have lots of giveaways and discounts. Some authors and artists will be there. Also, the Imperial 501st Legion will be on hand for photos. Check it out!

They do celebrate Free Comic Book Day here in the UK, but we will be traveling and won't get to visit our local shop. Alas!

On to the review...

ZPAA rating

Mid-teen and up.

Gore level

6 out of 10--The zombies aren't too frequent though they do have the usual gruesomeness; some human-on-human violence but not very graphic.

Other offensive content

Lots of bad language including f-bombs; traumatic back stories of characters; bad attitudes towards others; morally ambiguous grappling with the situation; beating up a liar; inability to trust.

How much zombie mythology/content

Eugene the scientist turns out to be a fake leading them to Washington on false pretenses, so none of the stuff he was concerned about (how the zombies are weak/incapable) is going to be explained any time soon.

How much fun

They find a happy place to go to but can't seem to relax and enjoy themselves. Have our characters lost the will to enjoy life?

Synopsis & Review

As the group continues its trek to the nation's capital, new revelations come out. Rick talks to Carl about killing Ben. Carl has, like his dad, turned into a teary-eyed killer when it is expedient for the group. Rick explains that what they have to do are bad things and they need to keep aware of that in order to remain good people.

Speaking of no longer remaining good people, just as they come close to DC, Eugene is revealed to be a fraud. He's a high school science teacher who is good at lying. That's how he's been able to survive the apocalypse. Abraham is understandably mad and gives him a thrashing.

Queue the entrance of a kindly-faced stranger named Aaron who makes the gang an offer hard to refuse (and to believe). He is from a community on the other side of DC and wants to recruit them to live there. They have walls, food, and other survivors who have been working together to make an area safe. Is this guy for real? Can they accept the offer at face value? Will this be a big mistake for Rick's people or for this new guy's people?

This book starts a shift in the story-telling. Instead of continuing on with "how long can they last?", the new issue of "can they go back to what life was like before?" comes up. Rick's group has some strong unity. Even the Eugene revelation didn't turn into bloodshed and horror, like it might have several issues ago. But can they integrate into another social unit smoothly?

The issue is interesting but is unresolved so I will be delving into the next volume soon!

Sample Text

Andrea on why she is sticking around after Dale died: When Amy and I were living in the RV with Dale...before you even made it to the camp, I realized that my parents were probably dead. That was hard...Then I lost Amy. I felt so alone. It drove me into Dale's arms and I fell in love with him. Then Donna died...followed by Allen, and Dale and I were left to raise Ben and Billy. I had a family...I'm twenty-six years old. Over the course of a year I inherited a family--I grew up--I loved the woman I became and the life I had. And now it's all gone. I'm all alone. And all I can think about is how I am that girl again. The girl I was...the girl I don't like. All I have left is you...all of you. You're the only things left to remind me of what I can be. The only things keeping me from being truly alone. I'd follow you people straight into Hell.
Rick: Let's hope that's not what you're doing.

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