Or – “Frickin’ Negan…”
There’s really only one burning question in Walking Dead these days: Has anybody shot Negan right in his big rubbery head?
If you want to know for sure, your Major Spoilers review awaits!
Excellent art, as always.
Some nice character work.
Caught in a plot loop.
Unnerving male-on-female violence.
THE WALKING DEAD #113
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Charlie Adlard
Gray Tones: Cliff Rathburn
Letterer: Rus Wooton
Editor: Sean Mackiewicz
Publisher: Image Comics/Skybound
Cover Price: $2.99
Previously in The Walking Dead: The zombies walking the earth in search of human flesh are nothing compared to the murderous urges of the living people, and now that Rick has finally geared up for war against Negan, there’s probably more violence on the horizon. Last time, Rick and company managed to pick off a few of their thuggish enemy’s men, but Negan has planned ahead, as his snipers disarm Rick’s people and once again leave him at the Saviors’ mercy…
EXTREMELY SLOW BURN…
It has been more than a year since the introduction of Negan and The Saviors into this book, and since the killing of Glenn in issue #100, he has become a larger and larger presence in the lives of Rick and the Alexandria survivors. So much so that I keep dropping out of regular reading out of frustration at how broad his characterization and cardboard villainy is, and how Kirkman and company seem to love his every obnoxious utterance. This issue begins with Rick and his people overwhelmed by Negan’s saviors after trying to kill him last issue, and covers two story-tracks: Rick face to face with the villain and Andrea trapped in a nearby tower in her sniping position. Rick’s half of the story consists of nothing but talk-talk-talk from Negan while he flails impotently against his foe. Andrea has a little more action going on, but most of it consists of her getting beaten down by one of Negan’s men, with overtones of sexual menace.
…SO SLOW IT FEELS LIKE ‘SAME OL’, SAME OL’.
There are a couple of nice moments in play, such as Carl shooting a chunk out of “Lucille,” Negan’s favorite murder weapon/baseball bat/girlfriend, but it’s mostly posturing that reminds me of the least effective episodes of the last TV season of TWD. There is clearly some build-up towards the much-vaunted ‘All Out War’ storyline that will hopefully give us something new to chew on, but I feel like we’ve been slogging through the mud for thirteen issues, and I don’t know that I want to wait another fifteen for a resolution of a plotline featuring a character who engenders nothing from me but X-Pac Heat (the sensation by which a villain is SUPPOSED to make us want to see him get his comeuppance, but instead just makes me want him to go away.) Perhaps Kirkman really has something brilliant up his sleeve for the big event storyline (to be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised, the man has pulled it off before) but that doesn’t excuse this long run of near-misses and long dry monologues beforehand.
THE BOTTOM LINE: GILLIGAN’S ISLAND HAD SIMILAR PLOTTING PROBLEMS.
In short, The Walking Dead #113 suffers from the same problems I’ve been feeling in this book since #100, with glacial plotting, endless posturing and dumb decisions being masked as in-character tactical brilliance, earning 2 out of 5 stars overall. The basics of a cool story are here, but it’s just not getting through the endless static created by the fact that our villain feels like a warmed-over cross between Andrew “Dice” Clay and The Governor, and that we’ve being going back and forth over the same “Will they or won’t they?” storyline since last spring…