REVIEW: The Walking Dead: The Governor Special

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In the barely-concealed-hatred-filled words of Michonne, “He calls himself The Governor.” In this new one-shot special from the Walking Dead creative team, The Governor gets his own backstory. Will we get an in-depth look at this enigma of a man or will he remain the elusive tyrant we all love to hate? More after the jump!

THE-WALKING-DEAD-Governor-Special-1-666x1024The Walking Dead: The Governor Special
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Charlie Adlard
Letterer: Rus Wooton
Colorist: Cliff Rathburn
Editor: Sean Mackiewicz
Publisher: Image Comics
Price: $2.99

Previously in The Walking Dead: Michonne was given her own spotlight, shedding light on the person she was before the end of the world. A successful businesswoman, her life was dramatically altered when her boyfriend and his friend turned into walkers, making her into the badass we all know and love.

SO… WHAT’S DIFFERENT?

The Governor, or Philip Blake if you want to be proper, and his heads-in-tanks fetish are given a six-page mini-origin story. In addition, the reader is allowed a slightly more in-depth look at the survivors’ time at the prison, such as Lori’s turning down Carol’s polygamist proposal, Axel and Tyreese bonding, and the actual first meeting between the Governor, Rick, Michonne and Glenn.

After reading the Michonne Special, it would have been nice to have a Governor-centric issue about his life before the walkers or even a look into his life while building Woodbury. Anything that gives the reader a chance to see the man before he became the Governor. That’s not what you get here. You get the aforementioned mini-story… and that’s about it. Everything else has been already covered, with any extra info serving a more superfluous purpose than anything else. The most we get is further proof that the Governor is a psychopath, a fact that’s been well established in the previous comics without this tidbit.

Granted, it’s nice to revisit the beginning of the “Woodbury vs. the Prison” plot line, especially with season three of the Walking Dead in progress. One can compare and contrast what makes both the comic series and TV series so great in their own respective mediums, but it’s not really enough to warrant a whole issue based on adding a line or two to what we already know.

BUSINESS AS USUAL

Charlie Adlard does his usual gritty-and-realistic post-apocalyptic work. There’s a sympathetic look to the doomed character of Scott and the Governor is portrayed as impassively as ever. There’s one confusing panel that has nothing to do with the mini-story, or the rest of the book for that matter, between a random man and woman. While they are probably familiar to diehards of the series, to everyone else, it’s a little confusing as to why it’s there in the first place. Everything else is pretty standard Adlard work for the Walking Dead, which is a good thing since any change from the Walking Dead’s iconic look would only take away from the series.

THE BOTTOM LINE: DISAPPOINTING

Overall, this was really disappointing. I had genuinely been expecting something along the lines of the Michonne Special. Having never read either of the two Woodbury supplement novels, I figured this would be a good chance for a summary, of sorts, in the good ole’ Walking Dead fashion. You don’t get that here. You get a barely interesting micro-story and then a bunch of stuff that serves more as filler than anything else. If you are a die-hard fan of the series that absolutely needs every issue, then pick this up. Otherwise, skip it. Overall, The Walking Dead: The Governor Special earns 1.5 stars out of 5.

Rating: ★½☆☆☆

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