Friday, 11 February 2011

Review - The Walking Dead Vol.10 TPB

This volume collects the Walking Dead issues 55 to 60. At the beginning of the book, we see that Rick is still carrying around a disconnected telephone and imagining that he is talking to his dead wife, Lori, which still seems more amusing than moving to me. En route to Washington, the WD gang discover a new type of zombie – a lazy zombie that can’t be bothered to bite anyone – and Glenn’s wife Maggie, still depressed about the death of her dad and the fact that she can’t get pregnant, hangs herself. Don’t worry, though, because she doesn’t die or turn into a zombie, although she does later seem to turn into Stan from South Park when she says to Glenn, ‘When I was hanging from that rope, I learned something...’

Rick and new WD gang member Abraham fall out while Maggie is lying on the floor apparently dead – Abraham wants to shoot her before she turns into a zombie, Rick doesn’t, no one thinks to check her pulse – but they bond after killing some rapists on a road trip to visit Rick’s old home. Rick wants to pick up some more weapons from his old police station and see how Morgan and Duane, the black father and son last seen in the Walking Dead Vol.1 and that short WD story from the Image Comics Holiday Special 2005, are doing. The short answer is: not so good. Morgan heads back to camp with Rick, Abraham and Carl (who tagged along for the ride), but Duane doesn’t, and on the way back they are chased by a ‘herd’ of zombies, who force them to abandon yet another refuge.

This was another volume full of melodrama. In fact, I’m starting to think that writer Robert Kirkman is the new Chris Claremont. Remember that Claremont / Byrne issue of the X-Men where Cyclops drops to the floor, apparently dead, after a mind battle with a member of the Hellfire Club, and on the last page Nightcrawler screams something like, ‘Oh my God, Cyclops is dead!’, and then on the first page of the next issue Cyclops is getting up and Nightcrawler says something like, ‘Oh, my mistake, he’s still alive.’? Well, Kirkman does things a bit like that in the Walking Dead all the time. It’s hard to tell exactly where the issue breaks are in these trade paperbacks, but I’m pretty sure the end of #55 was the full page image that showed Maggie hanging from a tree, and only a few pages into the next issue she was fine. Claremont’s characters used to talk too much, too, and this volume of the Walking Dead, once again, is full of largely unnecessary jibber jabber, where characters tell us things we already know or didn’t need to know, or else talk like rejects from a daytime soap opera. I mean, that bit where Maggie said, ‘when I was hanging from that rope, I learned something...’ nearly made me laugh and puke at the same time.

Having said all that, though, there was a lot of good stuff in here, too. In the last volume, the gang were joined by a scientist with a mullet haircut. I remember thinking while reading that volume that he didn’t look much like a scientist but Michonne asks him about his hair in this volume and his explanation makes perfect sense (basically, looking clever was attracting too much trouble). I thought Morgan and Duane’s fate was genuinely disturbing, and the section of the book in which we met them again was probably the best bit. Seeing a herd of zombies was pretty cool / scary, too, but I don’t quite understand why we had never seen a zombie herd before, if gunshots (etc.) tend to attract them. Oh, and Charlie Adlard’s art was great, as usual.

The Walking Dead is definitely not a perfect series, but it is gripping. Despite my many complaints, I did enjoy reading this book, I read it pretty quickly, and I can’t wait to find out what happens in the next volume.

Cost: This has a recommended retail price of £10.99 / $14.99. I bought my copy quite a while ago now and can’t remember where I got it from, how much I paid, or even why I bought it, as the only other volume I owned at the time was Vol.9. However, the cheapest place for this online right now seems to be the Book Depository, who have it for £6.30 (including postage).


  1. I learn some of my best life lessons when I'm hanging from a rope though...

  2. Do you have an orange in your mouth while this 'learning' is going on?