Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Walking Dead Volume 9: Here We Remain

Title: The Walking Dead Volume 9: Here We Remain

ISBN: 9781607060222
Price: $14.99
Publisher/Year: Image, 2010
Artist: Tony Moore, Charlie Adlard
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Collects: The Walking Dead #49-54

Rating: 4/5

Where do you go with a story after you’ve pulled your characters out of their comfort zone and killed around half of them in the process? Having built up a real momentum in ‘Made to Suffer’, Kirkman couldn’t afford to hang around too long and let it die out. Luckily, he didn’t...

Rick and Carl are the only survivors of what went down in the prison. Now they’re on their own and out in a wide world where the next person you meet is more likely to be undead than alive... They’re not on their own for too long but even though the company is friendly their new home just isn’t safe. A chance encounter might just give the group a new direction...

‘Here We Remain’ sees things slow down a little, at least to begin with. This is understandable given that the beginning of the book sees the story focusing on two characters (one of whom is badly hurt) rather than a whole prison full! We have a lot more time to see how Rick and Carl adapt to their new situation and the challenges it brings up. This is especially true of Carl and I found myself beginning to wonder whether the series is actually about the children growing up in this new world rather than the adults who look after them. Given that some of the younger characters can barely remember what the world used to be like it will be more interesting to see how they fit into the world as it is now...

It’s also interesting to see how the events at the prison change the group dynamic and how further events change it yet again. Everyone is looking for leadership but Rick is unable to take that responsibility, it’s questionable as to whether he can take any more pressure at all...
As I said earlier Kirkman doesn’t let the momentum die out, adding new faces to the group and sending them all off in a new direction with a promise of information that readers will have been eager for ever since the first issue. It’s too early to say whether we will find out anything concrete about the zombie uprising but all credit to Kirkman to offering up this bait when readers are still reeling from the prison massacre. It certainly keeps things fresh and moving in a direction that’s worth following.

I’m not quite sure when the next ‘Walking Dead’ collection is released but I’ll be there to pick up my copy. Charlie Adlard’s art (simple yet hauntingly effective) and Kirkman’s writing combine to form some pretty essential reading...

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