So Walking Dead continues to limp along. I sat out of the last two issues, figured maybe giving the series a month rest would improve my outlook on it. No good. Issue #107 is just as much a disaster as the last ten issues. Writer Robert Kirkman has either given up on the comic because the show is doing so well, or he never planned it to go this far and is making it up as he goes along. Either way, the amount of stalling and stumbling here is reaching epic proportions.
The entirety of issue #107 is another lengthy and clichéd “craaaazy” speech by boring, one dimensional villain Negan. Rick Grimes' son Carl stowed away and showed up at Negan’s hideout. Once there, he shot some of Negan’s men, which impressed the latest bad guy because, y’know, he’s craaaazzzyyy. Rick finds Negan and that’s where the long-winded speech begins. Negan is all over the place, at times violently angry, then suddenly actually violent, beating Rick up just to prove a point. Page after page, we have to suffer through Negan’s forced personality disorder.
After Negan leaves, Rick takes Carl and his crew back home, where he continues this lie about serving Negan while secretly plotting with Jesus and Andrea to kill Negan. Where or when this big battle will take place is anybody’s guess, but the end of issue 107 finds Jesus telling Rick that it’s time he met Ezekiel. Another stall tactic, another lengthy and pointless issue that ends with a cliffhanger, so we limp to the next issue. I look back at the older work Kirkman has done with Walking Dead and I’m shocked at how far beneath it this current stuff is.
I’m going to assume that Rick’s limp attempt to fight Negan for a few seconds drummed out some respect from him, and that’s why he suddenly decides to try and be reasonable. This works as a plot point but doesn’t jive at all with the character Kirkman has presented us. It could be that underneath all this tough guy act, Negan is a big pussy, but that would be the worst cliché ever.
What really irritates me here is the whole Ezekiel thing. If there is someone out there that can help bring Negan down, why would Jesus wait this long to say anything. Oh, I know why, because drawing this whole thing out allows Kirkman to eek out more issues towards this pointless battle with Negan. The slow descent of Walking Dead began before issue #100, but since then, the crash has become more rapid.
I know I always end my reviews with “And I still hate the art,” but my recent look back at when Walking Dead was a great read made me re-think that idea. Original artist Tony Moore was awesome. His work stood out, you could tell one character from another, and the art popped. Current artist Charlie Adlard just doesn’t have the same abilities, and it’s really hurt the series.
(1.5 Story, 1.5 Art)