A Larger World, A Different Rick

Review by Shaun Daniels and Edited by Sharon Wong

The Walking Dead #93 Written by Robert Kirkman, Art & Cover by Charlie Adlard & Cliff Rathburn and Published by Image Comics

In a world where the dead walk among the living, insanity, or the very thought of it, is very much the norm.  Having to survive in this world is in itself insane, let alone trying to live some semblance of a normal life and the ragtag survivors are trying to do just that.  When a stranger offers them help that could lead to a “normal” life, they react in true Walking Dead fashion.

Issue 92 marked the return of Jesus, not the Jesus, but rather a man nicknamed Jesus for obvious reasons.  After a misunderstanding, Jesus extends an olive branch of peace, presenting Rick with the option of joining a trade group with communities in the surrounding areas.  Rick accepts the offer and then proceeds to beat Jesus with said olive branch.  Not believing the “I come in peace” message, Rick ties the man up in the basement to interrogate him while the survivors ready themselves for the “inevitable” attack from Jesus’s group.  Seeds of disbelief in Rick’s plan start to sprout in the form of a longtime confidant.  Out to prove Jesus is laying a trap for them, Rick, Abraham and Michonne set out as bait to spring the trap that may or may not really exist.

Many readers have jumped on board simply for the shock and awe or the straight horror of a zombie apocalypse in The Walking Dead but they’re sticking around.  The book proves to be more than just zombies dining on the living as it continues to evolve with each passing story arc.  The real horror of the book, crafted by Kirkman, is humanity and the horrors of surviving a zombie apocalypse; just think what would one have to do for food in a world where Whole Foods and Kwik-E-Marts no longer exist.  If there is a downside to this issue, it is Rick wrestling with the idea of whether Jesus is telling the truth about his trading group.  In one scene, it carries the cold and emotionless interaction one might imagine between a prisoner of war and their interrogator.  Rick prepares the survivors to what he fully believes is an attack by Jesus’s group yet as the issue progresses, his stance begins to waver.  Now normally that doesn’t seem much of a problem but considering Rick knocked Jesus out and tied him up in the basement, this seems a bit quick.  In this world of zombies and human horrors, it is not unreasonable for Rick to have done what he did but it would be better played out if it took another issue or two to before Rick changed his mind.

Adlard turned in one of the coldest and calculated images of the series.  He has drawn images that have shocked and even sickened readers (refer to the Governor’s daughter/weird, creepy zombie plaything) though nothing like this.  Rick, who is shown in a very disturbing light as an interrogator in this issue, tells Jesus he doesn’t believe him, and his emotionless face will just terrorize you and have you selling out your own mom.  You could sub in Rick with any number of evil interrogators, fiction or non-fiction, and it would seem like it were straight out of a war story.

The survivors are standing at a fork in the road at the dawning of a new era for mankind.  It is up to their fearless and borderline batshit crazy leader Rick to decide which path they take, that of self-destruction or self-preservation.

Feedback is always welcomed at shaun@horrorhaven.com and sharon@horrorhaven.com

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