Rick and his group seem to have finally found a place they can call home, but suspicions are running high on both sides, as the latest installment of The Walking Dead arrives at Major Spoilers.
THE WALKING DEAD #74
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artists: Charlie Adlard
Grey Tones: Cliff Rathburn
Letterer: Rus Wooton
Editor: Sina Grace
Publisher: Image Comics
Previously in The Walking Dead: THE DEAD LIVE! THE DEAD LIVE! Rick Grimes and his group of survivors have finally made it to a safe harbor, but the town seems a little too Stepford for their taste. As nice as it is, Rick thinks everyone needs to be prepared to take over the town should push come to shove.
SPOILER WARNING AHEAD
When Hell on Earth finally arrives, I hope the survivors have enough sense to keep it civil and orderly and not turn on each other like a mass of rats trapped in small cage. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what is happening in the township, and while everything is very passive aggressive at the moment, it’s unnerving to everyone – including the reader.
With a new section of town safe for expansion, the extra room might put the kibosh on hostilities, but as is the case with the entire run of The Walking Dead, Kirkman constantly uses the trope that the least likely person to turn on the group does indeed do just that. In this issue, it’s the minister the Grimes clan rescued a while back. While he hasn’t survived the horrors that have befallen the others, witnessing the murder of the cannibal group from a few issues ago has him running to the town leader to spills the beans.
One of my biggest frustrations with The Walking Dead is that there are huge expanses of idle-chatter followed by a few key moments of action that keep readers coming back for more. It’s the same method Lost used for six years, and it does get old after a while. While Brian Bendis may be the king of decompression, Kirkman is probably right on his heels with this series. There are a few moments in this issue that really drag, but the key elements hit at the times these slow points occur to keep things fresh.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with Charlie Adlard’s art in The Walking Dead. He’s able to capture the horror of the events playing out in the series, and when it comes to the undead ripping someone apart, there’s no one I’d rather see serve up the zombie apocalypse. Unfortunately, there’s not much zombie action in this issue, which gives Adlard a chance to spend some time calming the issue with his Norman Rockwell-esque setting.
BOTTOM LINE: WORTH IT
I honestly think The Walking Dead reads better in the 12-issue hardbound trades that Image is putting out, as it takes about that long for a more complete story to be told. That being said, once you’ve become addicted to Kirkman’s tale, there’s something that compels one to want to buy each issue when it comes out and devour it like the undead on a fat man with a big head. While I have some concerns that readers are being served up another Prison story arc that spins its wheels, I think there is enough in this issue to claim it is a worthwhile read. I’m giving issue #74 3.5 out of 5 Stars.