Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Review - The Walking Dead #50 (Image)

Carl steps out of the shadow of his Father

The best that can be said about this issue is it brings on the progression of one of the major, but hitherto underdeveloped, characters in this title. As Rick Grimes drifts in and out of consciousness, his son Carl is hostage to his emotions, as helplessness, anger, grief (especially in light of what happened in issue #48) and fear take hold. When unexpected visitors turn up at their hideout, Carl has to make some tough decisions. After that we are left with Carl questioning his relationship with his Father and the dynamics of responsibility and duty of care that bind any parent and child. There is some great artwork, especially the final frame - for once, something other than a cliffhanger, but actually all the better for it. I read the thing twice, and I got it more the second time around. The recent 'no-one is safe' arc was such a relentlessly violent and brutal series of issues that the change in pace in #49 and #50 is a bit of a jolt, and this issue is more thoughtful and relies more on the personality of the characters. It does work. It works well as what we are witnessing is another character taking the centre stage, some character progression. When Carl speaks, his monologues just stay the right side of 'perhaps a young kid would say that'. Thank you Robert Kirkman.

Review - don't expect fireworks, but this tale is moving and moves the overall story on. 8.7 out of 10.