As I was reading, I thought this was a solid 3-Star issue of “The Walking Dead” — a quieter moment in time, with nothing of much significance happening. A moment to catch our collective breaths between tragedies and action set pieces, but not one of Robert Kirkman or Charlie Adlard’s best efforts. However, the ending has me itching for the next issue like only the best kind of comics can. It’s great when creators can remind you to take nothing for granted. Nobody and nothing is safe in the world of “The Walking Dead” and issue #109, by the end, will have readers wondering what horror or added complication present in #110.
Kirkman and Adlard long ago proved that they know exactly what it takes to keep a long-running indy property fresh. They’re not afraid to kill characters, take chances and break readers’ hearts regularly; but they’re also smart enough to never wander very far from their formula or the characters that make the book work. My brother was recently shocked at the brutal death of his favorite character to which I think I replied with a still bitter, “Welcome to my world of Tyrese being freaking beheaded!”
It is particularly refreshing to see that not only 10 years in, but several years into a hit television show, the magic of “The Walking Dead” comic book is still there. Kirkman gets how important the book is, what it means and that letting the quality drop because there’s an shiny new television show is not an option. The comic came first, it will always be that way, and his attention to the book even while pretty new things swarm around him is impressive. In fact, if anything, the book comes far more regularly than ever. Additionally, the early creators still attached and passionate about “The Walking Dead” makes a huge difference and very few books, even indies, can say the same.
What’s found in “The Walking Dead” #109 is almost exactly what readers will find in all the other issues: a wonderful combination of beloved characters struggling in a zombie apocalypse. In this particular issue, Maggie struggles with her loss and tries to make herself a new home with a new community. Yet she doesn’t seem terribly surprised to find that she’s not as far from Rick’s plans as she may have thought. As mentioned above, the setup for the next issue is intriguing enough that I’m confident it will be at the top of my reading pile when it releases.