Friday, September 21, 2012

Book Review: The Walking Dead, Vol. 14: No Way Out

The Walking Dead, Vol. 14: No Way Out by Robert Kirkman

The TV show is starting again in a month, so I thought I'd catch up with some of the graphic novel version.

ZPAA rating

Adults only

Gore level

9 out of 10--Lots of zombie fights with humans being bitten and injured; one human character is shot in the head and the full page drawing of it is pretty gory; usual blood-soaked and rotting zombie bodies.

Other offensive content

Lots of bad language, including f-bombs; lots of people "shacking up," including a gay couple, though there is no explicit nudity; questionable moral attitudes are put forward.

How much zombie mythology/content

Nothing new here, except another herd of zombies who attack, but we've seen that before.

How much fun

This may be the least humorful issue yet. But it's all about the drama with The Walking Dead, right?

Synopsis & Review

Winter comes to the small community Rick and his friends have joined. Rick has been appointed constable but lets things go to his head and he more or less takes charge, so no one will screw up the good deal they have. They've got walls and homes and supplies and the semblance of a normal life. At the end of the last issue, the community was almost invaded by a band of roving humans but Rick and his people were able to take care of them.

The frayed nerves start to show. People are coming into conflict. Douglas, the former leader of the group, is consumed by guilt over his wife's recent death and his womanizing on the side while she was still alive. He hardly interacts with anyone. Most of the other characters are partnering up, though only for seeming physical comfort. Naturally, such dalliances don't last. When the walls of their community are breached by a herd of zombies, can Rick and the others hold it together long enough to save themselves, by either fleeing or fighting an impossible fight?

This volume moves the story forward but just a little bit. The fractious nature of the community finally shows itself. Lots of hard losses happen and Rick starts to show more selfishness than before. I found the ending a bit improbable and the first seemingly false note of hope in the story. I do wonder what will happen next.

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