Monday, 14 February 2011

Review - The Walking Dead Vol.12 TPB

At the beginning of this volume, which collects the Walking Dead issues 67 to 72, we find out that ‘scientist’ Eugene, who was leading the rest of the Walking Dead gang to Washington to help the authorities solve the zombie problem, isn’t quite who he said he is. Unfortunately, that means that the chances of us readers finding out what caused the zombie outbreak any time in the next century are now approximately zero.

Soon after Eugene’s revelation, the gang are approached by a stranger who invites them to come and live in a gated community of survivors just outside Washington. This gated community is run by a talkative (like everyone in the Walking Dead) former politician called Douglas, who doles out jobs to new group members and makes Rick a police constable. Life in the gated community is relatively idyllic – with plenty of food, electricity, running water (???), and children able to play out in the streets – but the gang struggle to adjust to normal life, or at least the illusion of a normal life, after so long spent struggling to survive on their own. So far, Douglas and the other community members seem to be fairly normal – although Douglas and his son both fancy Andrea, which could lead to trouble, and one of the other community members seems to be beating his kid – and it is Rick and co. who are now the troublemakers, as they begin to make plans to retain their weapons and seize control, if necessary.

This was another volume that was fairly light on zombie action. At one point, Rick and Abraham went into Washington – which was overrun with zombies – to rescue a couple of community members who’d run into trouble, but there wasn’t a single zombie in the second half of the book, and instead the focus was on talky soap opera. While making Rick and co. the bad guys was an interesting twist, it wasn’t really what I wanted to see from this book. I was particularly disappointed to find out that Eugene didn’t really know what had caused the zombie outbreak and that the gang were going to settle down in yet another enclosure, where they look set to remain for quite some time. Really, this was quite a boring story development – one which seemed like another step back for the series – and I’m already looking forward to the inevitable destruction of the gated community so that things can move on. However, I’m fairly sure that they will just settle down again somewhere else. It will probably be years before we find out what caused the zombie outbreak – if indeed we ever find out – and I’m starting to get a bit bored now.

This has a recommended retail price of £10.99 / $14.99. My niece bought me my copy for Christmas and I don’t know how much she paid but I know she got it from Amazon, where it is currently just £6.29.

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