COMIC REVIEW: The Walking Dead #98

In The Walking Dead, we’re treated to the most human of zombie stories. Rick Grimes and his motley group of friends have carved out a place for themselves in a post-apocalyptic world by being bigger and badder than not only the zombies, but also the other survivors who seek to do them harm.

In this most recent arc, Rick and his group are introduced to another group of survivors, and seek to strike a deal for the two groups to work together, while completely cutting out another group of men, who may just be as dangerous as Rick is.

The issue starts with Abraham and Eugene out walking together, on their way to a location where the group can make more ammunition. While they walk, they talk of Rosita, and something unfortunate happens. A group of men who Rick has previously wronged has tracked them down, and want to be led to the compound. A firefight ensues, followed by a chase and a group of walkers. After our little band of warriors regroups, Rick is left not knowing which course of action to follow, something this man has not often faced.

Robert Kirkman is totally unafraid to kill off characters, and I love that. Throughout the series, he has made sure that absolutely no one is safe, including the children. Because of this, the story seems more real, zombies included.

Though a little slow about five issues ago, the series has started to pick up recently, and this issue is no exception. Plenty of action happens as Rick and his group must face the outside world and its hazards once again. Another nail-biter ending follows as we see Rick and his friends in a precarious situation, that he has to lead them through.

Kirkman does a solid job writing the issue, making it as compelling as most of the issues are. His characterization and ability to make a “zombie story” about the people instead of about the zombie plague are great to see in action. Kirkman continues to deliver, even after ninety-seven other issues. He continues to crank out one of the best books out there, even after nine years or so. The fact that’s he’s dedicated this much time to it shows just how much he loves these characters and the story itself. True dedication like that is rare to find.

Charlie Adlard and Cliff Rathburn do a great joint job on the art and coloring duties. With so many other comics, the black and white color scheme wouldn’t work, but with The Walking Dead, it works so well. It adds to the story, if anything. The artwork is wonderful. Gritty at times, it conveys the characters and the world around them so very well. Being both detailed at times, and not at others, it strikes a great balance and is the only sort of art I could imagine the comic using after all these issues.

The cover is great. Mysterious, intriguing, somewhat menacing, it immediately grabs your attention. It makes you want to read more; find out who the man on the cover is and just what exactly he could possibly be up to.

In addition to the story, art, and cover, all the things that make a great comic, the letter’s column in the back only serves as a great little something extra. The letters are well-chosen and always have something interesting to say. Reading the letters each month is both delightful and captivating, as you see what other fans think of the direction of the comic.

Overall, this is another great issue in what I think is one of the best comics out there. Kirkman and Co. continue to deliver even after all these years. As they gear up for what will surely be a spectacular issue 100, the story only manages to heat up and be more interesting.

Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Leo Johnson

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