|THE WALKING DEAD No. 129, July 2014|
Doubtless for many of this title’s fans the character of former police deputy Rick Grimes and “The Walking Dead” comic book itself are synonymous with one another. The narrative to this particular twenty-two page periodical must therefore have delighted the vast majority of its 72,908 readers in July 2014 as it is in many ways dedicated to the thoughts and actions of the series’ main protagonist. In fact, with the exception of a few pages at the very end of the magazine focusing upon Ken and Marco, and then equally as briefly Magna and her people, this book concentrates exclusively upon the leader of the Alexandria Safe-Zone and his interactions with Negan, Carl and the horseback rider Benjamin.
Robert Kirkman’s storyline also appears to return back to its roots by containing a healthy dose of zombies which, up until the publication’s wonderfully climatic cliff-hanger ending at least, genuinely appear to be the main menace of the story. Certainly the Richmond-born writer has the brain-eating cadavers not only posing a very real danger to the lives of some of this edition’s supporting cast, but depicts a small party of 'roamers' seriously threatening “one of the last remaining Atlanta survivors” and his boy.
It seems to have been quite some considerable time since the American author placed Carl's father in such genuine ‘infectious’ danger, and as a result the crippled man’s undisciplined defence of himself, coupled with the concerned cries of his adolescent son, actually makes Grimes’ hand-to-hand combat a rather surprisingly suspenseful sequence. This potential edginess to events is especially noticeable when the bearded axe-fighter realises he’s bitten off more than he can chew by tackling the group of walkers single-handedly; “Sorry to scare you like that. I thought I could handle them… It’s been a while… for me. That was close.”
Penciller Charlie Adlard really seems to do his best work when depicting this post-apocalyptic world’s carnivorous ever-shambling Undead, and it shows in both the quality line art and pulse-pounding pacing of Rick’s skirmish. The British artist also manages to convey the aging hero’s stiffness whilst getting down from his cart in order to kill the encroaching zombies, and relative inelegance as essentially a one-armed combatant.
|Writer: Robert Kirkman, Penciller: Charlie Adlard, and Inker: Stefano Gaudiano|