Comic Review: The Walking Dead - Volume 16 / Writer: Robert Kirkman / Art: Charlie Adlard / Publisher: Image Comics / Release Date: June 19th
Warning, semi-spoilers ahead. But if you haven’t already read TWD, then why the heck are you reading a review for collection #16?
Poor Rick Grimes. He’s lost his wife, he’s lost his friends, he’s nearly lost his son (who’s been shot – twice), and he very nearly lost his sanity. And he’s just had to contend with yet another violent stand against his authority.
Surely he’s due a break? Perhaps.
In the ‘A Larger World’ collection, Carl recovers and the latest rebels re-integrate into the group while Rick self-reflects and finds he has a new admirer.
Meanwhile supplies are running low and the new group have to attempt riskier search missions to survive, where they discover someone watching them.
With this new stranger comes new possibilities, and new risks. Rick and co. have to decide whether to trust him, with the possibility of a new, larger and better equipped home. However, as always, trouble isn’t far away.
The previous issues of TWD divided many fans over their bleakness. In the comics’ ‘Letter Hacks’ section, many readers wrote in to complain about Carl’s latest mishap, with one disgruntled walker calling it ‘kiddy torture porn’.
The latest issues seem to be heading back into a happier direction, although already there is a MacGuffin. Rick’s group may have solved their supply issues but it looks like it’s going to come at a price. Is a new Governor about to be revealed? Or will Grimes and friends have it easy for a while? And would anyone read a run of TWD when nothing nasty happens? With the name ‘Something to Fear’ for issue #97, Rick might just want to hold off on that rocking chair and sunset.
As TWD nears its 100th issue it is showing no sign of slowing down, although Kirkman may want to think about quitting while he’s ahead. After all, with the success of yet another medium (Telltale’s Walking Dead video game, reviewed here), it’s not like he has to worry about his mortgage.
In summary, Volume 16 is not as strong as previous arcs e.g. the prison storyline (spanning volumes 3-8) but still good enough to make you buy the next.