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The Walking Dead book 4

By Patrick Bérubé
December 8, 2008 - 08:30

The Walking Dead book 4 collects issue 37 to 48 of the regular series and his divided in two chapters (seven and eight). For those who haven't read the previous chapters, The walking dead tells the stories of a group trying to survive a zombie plague. The group is led by Rick an ex-cop and by Tyreese an ex football superstar. So far they have barely escaped and made it inside a prison where they settled only to discover that another group of survivor holed up in a nearby fortified village is having an eye on their hideout.

Chapter seven, entitled The calm before is aptly named has we follow the daily life in a prison surronded by the dead. Rick's wife is pregnant and the coming of the baby is a moment of joy and anxiety for the group. At the same time, everyone able to manipulate a firearm is training in case their safehaven is to be assaulted. But everything is so quiet, it's so easy to let it's guard down... Chapter eight is quiet different and is almost entirely focused on the battle for the prison by the two groups of survivors.

The pacing of the story in fairly unbalanced in this volume. While the first part feature a bit of action and a couple of death, which is few if compared to the rest of the series, it mainly evolves around human relationship. You really feel this chapter is build as a jumping point for the next one. I was almost bored at one point until I saw the last page and then could not wait to see what was going to happen next. And what happen is an intense battle for the prison as each group suffer losses and must make many hard decisions. You can almost feel the tension building up between every protagonist as the violence escalate. The only downide I have to Robert Kirkman's story so far does not come from this volume alone. The book might describes itself as ''a continuing story of survival horror'' but I would appreciate some hope after more than a thousand pages of story. Everytime you think things can't get worst, everything goes down the drain again. The last pages of this volume are a very good example of this. However, it's nice to not know what's going to happen. I even sometime wonder if Rick, the main character, will stay alive.

If I have something to say about the grimness of the story, I have to admit that I can barely find any flaws to Charlie Adlard's art. His black and white style is more than a perfect match for this comic book and it is so hard to imagine another artist taking over. His use of heavy shadow area creates a particularly suited mood and even with the characters firmly set in a realistic world (i.e. no costumed heroes), he manages to give each of them a unique personalities and a distinct physical appareance.

If you are an horror fan, simply like strong characterisation or are looking for a streamlined alternative to mega-crossovers you should definitely check out this comic book in whatever format you can (hardcover, trade paperback or monthly).

I rate this volume 9 out of 10 and I will anxiously be waiting for the next one.

Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

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