Comic Book Review: The Walking Dead, #19-24 (The Heart's Desire)

"The Walking Dead is an American monthly black and white comic published by Image Comics beginning in 2003. The comic was created by writer Robert Kirkman and artist Tony Moore (replaced by Charlie Adlard from issue #7 onward) and chronicles the travels of a group of people trying to survive in a world stricken by a zombie apocalypse.

"The Walking Dead is centered around Rick, a small-town police officer from Cynthiana, Kentucky, his family, and a number of other survivors who have banded together in order to survive after the world is overrun with zombies. As the series progresses, the characters become more developed, and their personalities shift under the stress of a zombie apocalypse. Fighting growing despair — and sometimes each other — the group searches for a secure location which they can finally call home."

While the last volume of The Walking Dead focused on the human condition, and the fact that man is his own worst enemy, this story arc deals with the relationships of the survivors in an almost soap opera-like manner. Relationships end and friendships are put to the test. Still reeling from all of the death and destruction of recent events, Rick, the leader of the group, must deal with new problems when a new sheep, Michonne, enters the fold. The emotional responses of accepting a new member to the group begin weighing heavy on a few of the characters, and lines begin to be drawn to separate the group.

Although I thoroughly enjoyed the conflict within the group, I have to say, I'm not sure this is where I'd like the book to start heading. It's still well-written, for sure, but I can't help but think that all of this energy could be focused instead on working out the kinks of inhabiting a prison in this apocalyptic world. It just doesn't seem likely that these characters would be so involved with their own love stories in a world at its end. That's not to say that this arc is bad; far from it actually. I love the tension between the the people and the constant shift in alliances. This is still one of the better comics on the market, and I'm looking forward to continuing reading it.

Best quote: "He killed my daughter! He fucking shot her dead! He was trying to commit suicide with her and as far as I'm concerned I just finished the job! And I enjoyed it. After all these months and the hell we've been through--it's almost the only thing I've enjoyed!"

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