Friday, January 27, 2012

Review: The Walking Dead 93

Non Spoiler Review:
Issue 93 kicks off a new storyline, A Larger World, and deals exclusively with Rick coming to terms with his next course of action. After imprisoning Paul, he, Michonne and Abraham scout out around the community for signs of an impending attack. Along the way, Rick has a bit of an epiphany on how to proceed next.

While not the most compelling issue in awhile, I can see Kirkman needed to show Rick's mindset changing, while also raising some valid questions that he might not be suited to leading anymore. There's also the question of what's going through the heads of everyone else around him as he hands out orders and directives. 

More communities and civilization means more options for everyone, so I'm excited for this arc and where it will take the characters and the series.

Spoilers Now!
When it looks like Rick is warming to the idea of beginning relations with neighboring communities, he punches out Paul and has him taken away, where he later attempts to get the truth out of him. Unfortunately, Paul sticks to his story, and is surprisingly understanding of Rick's behaviour.

Rick warns his inner circle that Paul's people might be preparing an imminent attack, so sets them to various tasks—counting ammo, manning the walls, and even Eugene getting to use his brain musing about alternative defensive techniques and making their own bullets. This later gives him the confidence to try to convince Rosita (still languishing after Abraham) he's the best man for her.

Rick, Michonne and Abraham then head out to look around the neighborhood for signs of their potential enemy while Andrea keeps lookout to provide cover. On the way they encounter some walkers and only after dispatching them does Rick seem to come to an entirely different conclusion about how they should proceed.

Killing walkers has become second nature, he realizes. He doesn't even break a sweat anymore. With that he decides they'll take Paul up on his offer. Either he's telling the truth and benign, or lying and a threat—in which case they'll kill them all and take their stuff.

The Verdict:
As mentioned, this did feel a bit slow, especially with the anticipation of seeing what kind of civilization might lay beyond their walls. But I think Kirkman's intent was to show how Rick is no longer suited to run things. He may be a good military leader, but is he suited for peacetime? From start to finish I was cringing at some of his choices and wondering just how much he's going to screw things up this time (and how long everyone else is going to put up with it). The question now is if Paul will actually trust Rick or if he's ruined it for the whole community by his bad decisions.

There were some further advances on other subplots—Eugene getting some focus finally. Abraham managing a snarky "Maybe you're not a good leader, Rick." It also served to remind the reader of several of the players as Rick named out everyone's specific tasks.

Rick's final conclusion that they can just take everything from them, if it comes to that, really mirrors his attitude when they came into the community, so I'm wondering if that's an intentional call out, given Rick does run the town now. The exposure to additional settlements and larger populations means Rick won't be as big a player anymore. Or will he? 

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