|THE WALKING DEAD No. 133, October 2014|
Apparently placed “in rotation a lot quicker” by “Image Comics” on account of its preceding edition being “so crazy”, Issue One Hundred and Thirty Three of “The Walking Dead” doubtless proved something of busy read to its 69,561 strong audience in October 2014. For whilst the majority of its narrative rather appreciatively focus’s upon a group of survivors who wear “walker flesh to move undetected through herds”, the twenty-two page periodical also provides parcels of plot development for Carl, Andrea, Magna, Eugene and Rosita. Indeed Robert Kirkman even manages to somehow provide Rick Grimes with a genuinely sentimental last loving look at his fast-growing son, before leaving him at the Hilltop Colony and heading off alone back to Alexandria.
Such characterful, even emotional scenes are not however what makes “Impending Doom” such a thrilling experience. It’s those featuring the murderous “disguised zombies”, and the title’s creator does a good job of entwining their fleeting appearances amongst some of the storyline's more mundane moments, such as Earl helping one of his apprentice’s make their “very first spear”, in order to maintain a genuinely palpable sense of apprehension in the book’s reader.
In fact Paul Monroe’s search for the absent guard Nathaniel, something which this comic’s cover illustration of the Undead stalking the horse riders suggests is probably ill-fated from the start, quickly becomes an engrossing exploration of the Northern Border for the missing “patrolman out in the wind”, and it quite quickly becomes hard not to race through those parts of this publication which don’t develop this particularly unsettling sequence; especially when it becomes clear that “Jesus” is being followed by another herd of the whispering cadavers and his party are about to be swarmed by “living” roamers…
Considering the sheer amount of exposition, dialogue and action contained within Kirkman’s incredibly busy script, and as a result the sheer number of individual panels Charlie Adlard needed to draw, this magazine’s artwork is decidedly polished looking. It’s rare for the Shrewsbury-born penciller not to include at least a single splash page within an issue. But for once the British illustrator swaps ‘arguable padding’ for seemingly endless flurries of tightly focussed panes packed full of wonderfully-telling facial expressions and frenzied stabbings.
|Writer: Robert Kirkman, Penciller: Charlie Adlard, and Inker: Stefano Gaudiano|