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The Walking Dead #16
posted March 10, 2005
Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, Cliff Rathburn and Tony Moore
Image Comics, 32 page, $2.95
is a serialized zombie story, where the dead walk the earth and make more dead that walk the earth, as the survivors gather and huddle against the giant weight of both circumstance and existential despair. This issue take place at one of those points in a zombies rule the world story line where some survivors have gathered together in a mostly safe place -- here a prison, where the various small family-style groups and "good guys" are mixing with the few surviving prisoners. This is usually done because to stop running is to allow the dread to seep in, which usually breaks in some direction to allow the chase to resume again, with dire consequences for those who aren't quick enough to find release from the hiding place. To ratchet up the tension even further, Robert Kirkman has one of the characters snap and begin adding to the body count the old-fashioned horror story way, with a big knife.
This seems like a competently done adventure comic, if you like that kind of thing; it probably helps to have low standards for having that particular scratch itched. The characters are depicted in such broad, stereotypical and sort of dull strokes that unless you're either extremely forgiving or never seen a movie of any kind before it's hard to drum up specific interest in even one of them. It also feels like a script or series treatment more than it does its own thing. A couple of the women characters and some children barely register. If this series provides anything like a clever twist on a genre so worn it's threadbare, this isn't the issue that lets you in on it.