Thursday, March 31, 2011

Walking Dead: Anything Can Happen

When a comic makes you shout "Oh shit!!" as you read it, you pretty much have to blog about it. The problem is, I don't want to spoil it and it's almost impossible to talk about it without spoiling it. But I'll try. There will however, be spoilers of things that have happened before this issue, so be warned.

robert kirkman

Just when you think nothing more can shock you in this book or that Kirkman is going to stop torturing Rick, you turn a page and any semblance of safety you had goes out the window. Way back, during the prison escape, it was clear that this book was something different. I remember the shock of seeing Rick's wife and baby killed. Up until that point characters had come and gone, but you just didn't expect for the family to be hit. They were the core of the book. But it happened and it wasn't just for shock value. It drove the development of the characters forward. It also took the tension that had already been established and amped it up, because the danger was real and no one was safe. In many ways, that moment leads directly to this issue. It's because of that moment, more than anything, that Rick is so focused on the survival of his son above anything else. He will literally do ANYTHING to ensure that survival. That is reality. So once that idea is driven home, what happens next is at once unexpected (to say the least) and if we trust een Kirkman as a writer who knows what he's doing (he absolutely does), then it's actually what needs to happen. Story is, after all, about conflict. You set up a character and then you challenge that character. Rick has had more than his share of these "challenges," and that's what makes the book move forward. But what makes the book great, beyond just being well crafted storytelling, is that Kirkman is also a master of character. Invincible is the same way. The characters are so clear they are real. You know each one. There's no mistaking who these people are. Their actions are always true. To do that consistently, for 83 issues, while at the same time developing them further, is really genius.

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